Metallica Through the Never

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Metallica Through the Never
Metallica Through the Never film.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Nimród Antal
Produced by Charlotte Huggins
Written by
  • Dane DeHaan
  • James Hetfield
  • Lars Ulrich
  • Kirk Hammett
  • Robert Trujillo
Music by Metallica
Cinematography Gyula Pados
Edited by Joe Hutshing
Blackened Recordings
Distributed by Picturehouse
Release dates
  • September 9, 2013 (2013-09-09) (TIFF)
  • September 27, 2013 (2013-09-27) (United States)
Running time 94 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $21,196,967[2][3]

Metallica Through the Never is a 2013 American IMAX thriller concert film featuring the American heavy metal band Metallica. The film title is derived from the song "Through the Never" off the self-titled 1991 album; the feature follows young Trip's (Dane DeHaan) surreal misadventures on what is supposedly a routine task intercut with concert footage in Vancouver and Edmonton, August 2012. The feature was released by the revived Picturehouse marquee, ceased since 2008.


Opening with aerial footage of Vancouver and BC Place stadium with a radio DJ announcing Metallica's one-night-only concert. A heavy-metal fan drives into the empty parking lot and climbs on the hood, but has difficulty due to his overweightness, whooping and laughing while the film's protagonist, Trip (Dane DeHaan) skates past the fan but wipes out. Trip is a roadie for Metallica. Skating into the underground parking, he gets a brown paper bag of something unknown from a beatup van, and venturing into the dressing room halls, encounters each of the band members. Giving the bag to his supervisor, Trip is told to "stick around". Standing in the main stadium arena, he then walks at a typical pace with the audience filing in at time lapse to Ecstasy of Gold.

Metallica appears on stage and begins performing, and during Creeping Death, Trip's manager tasks him with bringing gas to a stranded truck in the city with "something very important". Before driving his van, Trip pops a mysterious pill.

Driving through the deserted streets, Metallica-esque flames on flat surfaces of the city scape either alludes to the pill's effects or supernatural energy. Distracted by map studying, Trip runs a red light but braking in the intersection's middle, noticing a bloody hand smear on an illuminated sign and is t-boned by a lone driver, the van is flipped.

Crawling out of the van, Trip peers into the other car and hearing radio reports of what's to come, calls to the unresponsive driver standing with his back to Trip, who only briefly looks at Trip and start running past Trip, down the street. Trip retrieves only the gas tank, a map and a doll of unknown importance tied to a string around the neck, with electricity crackling in the van from an unrevealed source. Trip wanders down a street and a Police horse dragging its rider across his path. Then some people run past him, oblivious to him with some police cruisers speeding past him, with one ablaze. Emerging into the middle of a street, realizes he has come between rioters and riot police, who are motionless. Gradually, the rioters start getting rowdier and provocative, when the police fire tear gas, the rioters swarm the police, in a full on battle. Trip, stunned by the violence ferocity, stands by a window being strangely ignored, the window shatters behind Trip.

In the heat of battle, a horseman (listed in the credits as The Rider) comes charging through, who wears a gas mask with a sledgehammer with an armored horse, pursues a rioter, lassoing a noose on his neck and hoisting the victim on a streetlamp. It is not formally indicated of which side The Rider fights for. Trip watching, throws a brick at The Rider. This fixates The Rider on Trip and starts to pursue Trip, losing the doll. Trip loses The Rider by sneaking through a wall of battlers.

Walking down a deserted street that is littered from an earlier battle, Trip walks under a dozen hanging bodies from a pedestrian bridge, unrevealed how they got there. Trip finds the truck he was tasked to give fuel to in a deserted parking garage corridor but the driver, a middle aged man, is too traumatized in the cab to heed the presence of Trip. The back of the truck is opened with nothing but a leather bag which Trip opens but the camera pans away. Trip just slumps down, speechless.

Sitting around, Trip notices a figure waving at him from a distance. The Rider rides up behind the man, and suddenly a swarm of mobbers surge past the two, unstated if they are the pre-encountered rioters or The Riders minions assuming The Rider is a supernatural entity. Trip then grabs the bag and tank of gas, jumps out of the truck and flees.

Unable to shake off the pack of mobbers, Trip is cornered at an alleyway end with the mobbers closing on him. For an unexplained reason, Trip ties a blue bandana around his mouth, puts up his hoodie and drops the bag. Picking up the gas tank, Trip douses himself and lights himself up, then charges the mobbers, being beaten collectively.

Trip wakes on a building rooftop (with Enter Sandman starting) with the doll he lost has become animated and is walking to the leather bag. Getting up, a noose is lassoed on Trip, and is pulled up the horse. Trip grabs The Riders hammer, to free himself. The Rider rides to the opposite end of the rooftop and starts to charge Trip who picks up the hammer and slams the floor with it, sending unexplained earthquake-style shock waves across the city, shattering all the glass and structural exteriors of surrounding buildings, disintegrating The Rider and his steed to dust and reverberating the Metallica's concert, interrupting it with a blackout of power. The concert staff eventually hook up a back up generator, and the band continues the concert without the pyrotechnics and light props.

Trip arrives back at the stadium with the doll and the bag under his arm finding the concert over and deserted with a lone beam of light on the stage. With the credits, it is intercut scenes of the band performing Orion to the deserted stadium, when Trip walks through, and takes a seat wearing his same clothes. The ending shot is the leather bag, and is never opened.



The band made a surprise appearance in Detroit at the Orion Music + More Festival under the name Dehaan, after lead actor Dane DeHaan, to promote the film by playing their debut album, Kill 'Em All, in its entirety.[4]

Through the Never made its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[5]

The film was released in IMAX theaters across the United States on September 27, 2013,[6] the 27th anniversary of former Metallica bassist Cliff Burton's death, before being rolled out to normal cinemas in 3D the week after (October 4).


Reviews of the film were positive. The film has a 78% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Imaginatively shot and edited, Metallica Through the Never is an electrifying, immersive concert film, though its fictional sequences are slightly less assured."[7]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "a full-throttle expression of rock & roll anarchy", and encouraged readers not to understand the plot, but to "live" it.[8]

Peter Rugg of The Village Voice writes that the film is "the most immersive concert film ever."[9]

Chris Tilly of IGN delivered a positive review as well, stating that it "features several truly incredible live performances that are worth the price of admission alone. Metallica fans will love the music, while everyone else can enjoy the amazing visuals in this unique concert movie."[10]


The official soundtrack for Through the Never was released on September 24, 2013 via Blackened Recordings.[11] The album has charted in several countries.


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