Top positive review
60 people found this helpful
Admirable and Life-affirming
on 10 May 2009
The previous reviews were excellent, especially in discussing the conflicts that arise in Anvil.
I admire Spinal Tap for how the situations, characters and most of all the music actually pay homage to the whole rock genre it so archly satirises. I approached Anvil suspecting it would be a diluted version of the original spoof, maybe even playing on the heavy metal clichés for cheap laughs, but that's not the case. Although Anvil initially promises to expose the failed dreams of two ageing and deluded rock musicians - and there are many uncomfortable and hilarious scenes - by the end of the film you only want success and recognition for them. Their passion, optimism and friendship deserve nothing less.
Beyond the human journey, the documentary is so well crafted, for example, the cohesion of the Japan angle, the understated meetings with other rock musicians and the suspense of the ending. I actually had a tear in my eye on several occasions such as when Lipps' wife is interviewed, but I think these aspects were made more poignant by the exquisitely excruciating Spinal Tap sequences - look out for the rendition of Thumb Hang, the `I'll tell you in one, no two, no three words' conversation, and the textured toilet painting.
I'm not a heavy metal fan but it's difficult to be cynical about these people or the music; this film is so admirable and life-affirming - it's just great.