Helplessly, fans of metal’s still-reigning kings will tune up their air guitars for this poundingly loud 3-D IMAX concert film, easily the best of its kind. Captured over five Canadian shows from its 2012 tour, Metallica can be seen in peak form, thrashing out a set heavy on selections from the classic first four albums (including the recently revived title track from …And Justice for All, a complex ten-minute shredder). Arguably, the band has never been as tight as it is with lurking bassist Robert Trujillo; director Nimród Antal knows exactly where to place his roving camera to sop up every double-pedal drum flurry and wailing solo.
Maybe because the band enjoyed raves for its daring 2004 psychodrama, Some Kind of Monster, an experimental narrative is shoehorned in, involving a roadie (Dane DeHaan) doing bloody battle in a deserted city. Your heart sinks with every cutaway. But the intrusions are few, and there’s creativity within the concert itself: A mike shorts out, a bank of lights crashes down on technicians (Metallica comes this close to orchestrating its own Altamont), and a huge statue is toppled. Block those Spinal Tap allusions.
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