This documentary about Canadian heavy metal band Anvil looks at first glance as though it’s another rockumentary spoof: a Spinal Tap for the Noughties. The backstage bickering sounds the same, the on- and off-stage blunders look familiar, and there’s even a dial that goes up to 11. But Sacha Gervasi’s movie about wannabe rock gods Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Robb Reiner turns out to be hilariously and touchingly true.
Kudlow and Reiner (not to be confused with Tap helmer Rob) made a pact to rock on forever as teenage best friends, and they even enjoyed a fleeting brush with stardom as the ‘demigods of Canadian metal’ in the 1980s. Lasting rock fame eluded the duo, however, and Gervasi’s film catches up with them in their 50s, holding down humdrum day jobs yet still ardently pursuing their teenage dream.
The duo’s doggedness is impressive, but it’s the resilience of their tested-to-the-limits friendship that surprisingly makes watching Anvil! The Story of Anvil such a moving experience. Even if you’re a confirmed heavy metal hater, by the time the movie approaches its climax you’ll be cheering on the band as they make one last gasp bid for rock ‘n’ roll glory.
Released 15th June.
Read more about the real-life Spinal Tap.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.