Through the Never


Metallica promoted their movie 'Through The Never' as a groundbreaking music-driven motion picture event. Theatrical trailers gave me the impression that there would be quite a bit of movie with concert footage accompanying the story. Turns out that I had it backward.

The opening scene has young Trip (Dane DeHaan of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3', 'Chronicle') skateboarding through the parking lot of an arena where Metallica is about to perform a show. After retrieving a brown paper bag, contents unknown, from a beat up van, Trip navigates the loading area and enters the inner hallway system of the venue. On the way, he encounters each of the band members who barely acknowledge him. He's apparently an assistant to the road crew but is obviously not well known to the band. Trip gives the bag to a manager who tells him to stick around for another assignment.

Kirk Hammet, Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica in Through The Never

Metallica opens their show with 'Creeping Death' and Trip joins the fans to watch the show but it is not long before the manager interrupts his fist pumping chant of 'Die, Die, Die' to give him a map and another assignment.

Trip is tasked with bringing a gas can to a stranded truck in the city and again retrieving something very important for the band. Again, we're not told what it is. Trip looks around to see if anyone is watching before surreptitiously taking a blue and red pill before driving away in the van. Metallica continues their performance with 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' as Trip begins his journey followed by 'Fuel'.

Kirk Hammet, Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica in Through The Never

As trip drives through the city, which is at first oddly abandoned but already has an apocalyptic feel, he looks at the map as he is approaching an intersection. The light turns red and he trys to break the van but ends up skidding into the middle of the intersection. As he stares through the passenger window at a sign marked by a bloody handprint, he's blind-sided by another car that violently smashes into the driver's side and sends the van rolling and scrapping away.

Metallica breaks into 'Ride the Lightning' as Trip lays unconscious in the van which has ended up on its roof. Trip regainins consciousness to 'One', complete with simulated air strikes and machine gun strafing, and escapes the van to find the other vehicle empty. He finds the other driver standing, facing the away from the camera. Trip yells and the other driver turns to show his face bloodied by injuries from the crash. The man looks into the distance, as if horrified by something that was chasing him, then turns and runs in the opposite direction.

This was a very promising start, full of intrigue and potential, but we are already more than thirty minutes into the movie at this point. There is a bit more story wrapped in nightmare imagery that includes mass hangings, angry rebels fighting police riot squads and a gas-masked rider on horseback that try to kill Trip.

Gas-masked horse rider in Metallica Through The Never

There are many more songs, shown almost in their entirety, including 'Master Of Puppets' which plays as Trip finds the empty truck containing a mysterious leather satchel. There are really cool stage sets that include hundreds of synchronized monitors serving as the stage floor, and a towering statue of 'Justice' which gets destroyed. There's really not much more story. Trip runs and fights his way back to the arena to find the concert has ended but he has successfully delivered the mysterious bag.

The credits roll and Metallica play the awesome instrumental 'Orion' in the now empty arena.

I wouldn't have wanted to cut any of concert footage, but I would have preferred another half hour dedicated to story. I also regret not seeing the IMAX version in a theater, which would have probably made the whole experience more extraordinary.