Parents' Guide to

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Memorable music doc on Canadian metal band; lots of cursing.

Movie NR 2008 77 minutes
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This movie is a testament to the kind of quixotic perseverance required to maintain a lengthy career playing in rock and roll. There are many touring musicians out there who will say that the classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap is, for all its comedy, the most too-real depiction of the absurdities of life on the road. Anvil! The Story of Anvil comes close, and the connections between the two films, in the comedy of errors, in the unstoppable perseverance, in the arguments between lifelong friends and founding Anvil members Lips and Robb, appear to be a deliberate move on the part of the filmmakers, but the final takeaway is an awe-inspiring sense of just how hard these guys continue to work and sacrifice to pursue their passion.

Neither fawning nor contemptuous, the documentary presents the viewer with the eternal quandary of anyone committed to their lifelong dream in endeavors seen by most as a "young person's game": to put away the proverbial zebra-striped spandex pants for good and accept the demands and responsibilities of adulthood at the cost of personal happiness, or continue to pursue what could be an eternally elusive dream and descend into self-parody? The exploration of this theme makes this movie worthwhile even to those who couldn't care less about heavy metal.

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