Star Rating:

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Director: Sacha Gervasi

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Documentary

Running time: 90 minutes

At times both heartbreaking and hilarious, Anvil! Story of Anvil chronicles the almost rise of the titular Canadian metal band. Opening with heartfelt testimonies to their trailblazing talent from the likes of Lars Ulrich and Slash, the lads are now in their fifties. Lead singer Lips, and drummer Robb, have been reaching for that career rainbow for nigh on thirty years, to the respect of their peers, but no real commercial avail. They won't let anything like the looming shadow of old age affect their love of metal though, and are still playing tiny bars and sparsely populated halls. Whilst younger bands would obviously be able to give their all to the cause of rock 'n' roll, these guys have families to feed, and understanding wives to try not piss off. Lips is, more often than not, the focal point for the camera, as his passion sometimes skews into anger seeing him and Robb invariably clash. But the two guys genuinely feel like brothers, and it's that seemingly unbreakable bond that makes this hugely watchable documentary so good. The series of hopeful highs and undeniable lows is often uncomfortable viewing, but you really will find yourself rooting for these guys, even if you can't help but guiltily think 'let it go' at points. One gig on the European tour sees the band late for a show in Prague, so the promoter refuses to pay them resulting in a hilarious scuffle; while the realisation that a stadium they're headlining has only sold 176 tickets, out of a possible 10,000, is truly awful to watch. But Lips never loses heart, and truly believes that the guys can be as huge as he always thought they would be. Sacha Gervasi's doc gives him pretty much unlimited access to the band's lives, and sees him capture more than a few tough moments. But it's the perennial optimism of Lips that makes you wish these guys had found the superstardom that their enthusiasm deserved.