Metallica, as a band, has no fear of the close-up moment. They bared their souls in the 2004 documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, which captured their struggles during the recording of St. Anger when it looked like, without the benefit of constant on-call therapy, that they might not survive to rock on. But here they are, teamed up with director Nimród Antal (Armored and Predators), mixing one-night-only concert film highlights with a slight narrative tale about a roadie (Dane DeHaan) sent into the dystopian streets to secure a mysterious satchel for the band.
DeHaan has a deep reservoir of edgy charisma (more than enough Rock star appeal to go head to head with Lars and the fellas in a few backstage encounters), but not enough to make the vignettes matter more than the music, which is too bad. Through the Never could have been a matrix-level mind-game rather than a small-scale walking dead nightmare. Opens Oct. 4 at Esquire Theater. (R) Grade: C+