Director: Sacha Gervasi
Featuring: Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Robb Reiner, Slash, Lemmy, Lars Ulrich
Synopsis: A documentary of Canadian metal band Anvil, a music phenomenon that inspired the top four metal bands of the ’80s (Slayer, Metallica, Megadeath, Anthrax) and yet due to poor management, faded into obscurity. Two best friends and original band members Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner are still rocking to this day. The film follows them as they try to get the thirteenth album made, while trying to grasp the fame that has eluded them for so long.
A review by Film Nerd
As I have posted a New Release 5 star review today, I thought I would follow it up with a 5 star (recent) Flashback. Anvil for me is a film that has stuck with me ever since the first viewing. I went to see a doco about a metal band, having some interest in the music, but left convinced I had seen one of the finest documentaries ever to be made. It is a wonder how something as insubstantial as a dream could be all these guys have lived on all this time, and despite 30 years of failure, they just keep on trying.
I alluded to the fact before I do enjoy listening to metal. However I don’t think that biased me towards the film. In fact, there were only a select few of their songs on offer here that I found truly entertaining. The simple fact is that stripped of everything else, this is a story of two friends. They play music, they have fights, and let’s be honest, they have made and continue to make some incredibly dumb career decisions. But they are both of them so genuinely invested in Anvil and each other, that you can’t help but barrack for them. There are a lot of amusing and heartbreaking moments between them in this film, occasionally both emotions being drawn from you simultaneously.
It is also refreshing to see a metal band not self imploding, but being dedicated to their families as well. In fact, it is the scenes showing them with family that make you want these guys to succeed more than anything else. They have their hearts always in the right place. “Lips” sums this up at one moment with the simple comment “Family’s important s**t, man!” Simple words, but taken in context, it sums up the whole film. Kudlow and Reiner are brothers, and that bond is strong through every hardship.
This film has been criminally under seen. It is a documentary that plays like a feature film, but is so much more than either. I can hardly even watch the trailer again now without a tear!!
5 stars (out of 5)