4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hard Rock Hallelujah,
This review is from: Anvil! The Story of Anvil [DVD] (DVD)
A lot of the pre-release reviews of Anvil seemed to be trying to find a way to avoid saying "Spinal Tap" for the longest time, before giving in as soon as it became impossible to get past the fact their drummer has a name not indifferent to the director of the aforementioned film. At that point, sniggers began.
However, although there are moments where it does descend into complete farce (i.e. a promoter attempting to pay them in goulash in Prague, or gigs where you can count the fans on your fingers), the film doesn't ridicule the band at any point - although it does seem like frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow is on a one-man mission to have us lose any sympathy with the band, given his habit of throwing adolescent tantrums and/or pinning various people to the wall by their lapels with very minor provocation.
The thing is, even though they seem intent on keep denying they missed their opportunity to dine at the top table 25 years earlier - especially with some of their encounters with members of bands that did make it and can't get away from them fast enough - you can't deny that Steve and Robb want to stop being a footnote and are working their backsides off to try and gain some recognition for their hard work, and see that glimmer of success that's eluded them for so long. So even with Lips' tantrums, the band's inept management and the overriding sense that every situation could turn into a catastrophic farce for a couple of middle-aged teenagers, you do side with the band - which is a credit to the documentary makers, who could've quite easily made a hatchet job for cheap laughs and left the band out to dry.
At the start you may want to point and laugh at the band, but halfway through you'll want them to get it together and turn their fortunes around, and by the end you'll hope they have a brighter future. When a documentary can do that, you know it's worth watching.