Spoiler free until “Set/Story spoilers” warning.
This may be the best concert release Metallica have produced, and I say this as a huge fan of the ‘89 and ’92 concerts. In terms of picture quality it’s incredible. 3D gets a lot of shit and I can see where they are coming from, before the movie began (during the seemingly endless stack of adverts for banks and phones) they aired a trailer for the new Hobbit movie and the 3D looked like ass. I started to dread the 3D aspect of this movie, but I was left more than satisfied.
There were at least a couple of moments where I was tempted to grab my camera to get a picture out of instinct before it dawned on me I was sitting in a cinema. The band look and sound great; combined with the stage set, 3D was the best way to go. My only complaint about 3D is that you feel like you should maybe feel the heat of the flames on your face and it’s a very strange sensation not to have that.
The sound can’t be faulted, there’s not a single point where anyone gets buried in the mix, it’s crystal clear and in a cinema setting, as close to a standing by the sound desk at a live gig as you can get without being there.
The story also made a lot more sense, or at least flowed a lot better than I expected. It’s not as “choppy” as I was expecting, instead for the most part it seems to be full song –clip – song – clip which is good (apart from one horrendous cliff hanger type moment where they played a longer song, cutting away from the action).
Through The Never is probably the best representation of 2013 Metallica as a fan could hope for. It makes up for Some Kind Of Monster at least.
This is the best stage set Metallica have had. Period. The electric chair getting hit by lightning during Ride The Lightning, Lady Justice crumbling during ..And Justice, the crosses during Master, the flames of Fuel, the “accident” during Sandman and the garage style jam of Hit The Lights. If Metallica do come through on the promise to tour this set, it’s one that cant be missed under and circumstance. As you may have guessed, it’s a pretty incredible setlist as well. Some songs didn’t make the movie itself, and others were cut midway but as far as I’m aware, the full show will be available on the DVD.
The story itself was good in my eyes. Though got incredibly sinister quickly, a riot gives way to a street full of hanging bodies but with Kirk Hammett’s love of horror movies, we can’t be surprised. I’ll say this though, while the plot made sense for the most part, the writer clearly lost his mind in the last twenty minutes where walking dolls, teleportation and Thor worthy hammers crop up.
This is my only negative. Upon completion of the story, it just sort of ended. Hit The Lights ends and boom, credits. It was a sort of unfulfilling moment, it just felt lacking. What was really pretty cool though was the sit down play-through of Orion as Dehaan looks on from a solo seat in the audience. It was a nice touch so I can’t whine too much about the way the main movie closed.