Anvil! The Story of Anvil DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 7.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features   0.0
Total 8.0
Distributor: Reel
Classification: M15+
Minutes: 80 minutes
Reviewer: Jamie Kirk

8.0


Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Review Disc Only

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a rock documentary with a difference. There are no tales of hotel room destruction, no tales of heroic/idiotic amounts of alcohol intake, no tales of mountains of drugs that would shame Keith Richards, and no tales of mountains of women that would shame Mick Jagger. No, Anvil! The Story of Anvil is just a story about a rock band that never quite made it, and the long standing friendship between its two founding members.  This is a refreshing turn, as the excesses of rock and roll fall by the wayside for a moving examination of a friendship and a desire to achieve their dreams.

The film begins explaining who Anvil are. It is 1984 and they are one of the headliners of the Super Rock Festival in Japan. Their tour mates include Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, and Scorpions. The other bands all went on to achieve healthy successes and sell many records, while Anvil were left by the wayside.  Now, vocalist Steve “Lips” Kudlow drives a catering truck for a living, and drummer Robb Reiner does construction work. Both still yearn for the big stage, and still play shows to small crowds of devoted fans around the area. When they are put in contact with European fan who wants to organise a tour for the band, the hope for another shot at fame is renewed.

What follows is a journey that starts off promising, but quickly turns very bad. Fees don’t get paid, transport is arranged incompetently, and the band plays to tiny crowds in tiny venues. Even after all this, Lips is still convinced the band can triumph and goes about financing the recording of a new album by himself. Lips and Reiner’s friendship is put through the wringer multiple times, yet each time the band hits a new low or they have a heated argument they return with an even stronger desire to succeed. This deep relationship is the heart of the film, and Lips’ energy will keep the viewer invested in the fate of the band, no matter how dire it looks. Both Lips and Reiner never grate, and never seem like rock stars with a misplaced sense of entitlement. They are two of the more sincere leads seen in film recently, and even though they could be seen as two men with a crippling Peter Pan complex, they never come off like that.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil does not require knowledge of metal music or the band at all. Of course long standing fans of Anvil will certainly get the most out of this film, but it is accessible to anyone. Anvil! is a story about following dreams, and constant perseverance. It is at times gruelling, at times heart breaking. It is also optimistic and never fails to be entertaining. The DVD contains no special features, but the film itself deserves a look, if only to see one of the more legitimate and caring friendships of modern film.






 
 



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