Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
The Making Of The West Wing
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Steve Kudlow
Robb Reiner.
Directors
Sacha Gervasi.
Screenwriters
Running Time
80 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Overnighters, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Fury
3 Star Empire Rating
Way He Looks, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Serena
2 Star Empire Rating
Book Of Life, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Anvil! The Story Of Anvil
For those who very nearly rocked — we salute you...


submit to reddit


Plot
Canadian rockers Anvil played a key role in the birth of speed metal, inspiring the likes of Metallica, Anthrax and Guns N’ Roses, yet have themselves been cruelly overlooked by fame for more than 30 years. But, while working day jobs and entering their fifties, founding members Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Robb Reiner have continued to rock...


Review
Anvil! The Story Of Anvil
Like that toweringly famous mockumentary, The Story Of Anvil contains a disastrous trans-continental tour (managed by a band girlfriend, no less). Both films culminate with a gig in . Hell, the drummer’s name is Robb Reiner. It’s all some elaborate, viral-marketed hoax, right? Wrong. Anvil are the real deal, and that you haven’t heard of them is exactly the point. Fame and fortune have eluded long-time bandmates, guitarist and vocalist Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow, and drummer Reiner (despite impressive testimonials here from the likes of Metallica and Motörhead), but amid the drudgery of day jobs and the disappointment of setbacks they never gave up.

So far, so typical documentary about wishfulfilment and ‘living the dream’, which you’d expect from the guy who wrote The Terminal, but Sacha Gervasi has found something more, and he mines a very rich vein for all it’s worth. How far would you go — and we’re talking about the harsh, real world here, not Hollywood hypothetical — to achieve your life goals? How much time and money would you spend? How much rejection could you take? What would you put your family through? The Story Of Anvil observes it all with excruciating (and often hilarious) honesty: the ramshackle European tour, getting their 13th album recorded, infighting, humiliation, outright extortion. But they keep clinging to hope, always believing that the breakthrough is just around the next corner.

It certainly helps that Gervasi is himself a hardcore fan (he roadied for the band in the mid-’80s). His devotion allows us access to Anvil’s most private and often painful moments, but it also ensures that his film rises above mere cinematic rubbernecking to tell an amazing story about optimism, limits and the underside of the rock ’n’ roll dream. Much more than a rockumentary, this will have you questioning whether anyone should ever abandon their dreams. Like life, it isn’t all laughs — but it mostly is, and it makes for a hell of a movie. Yes, this is Spinal Tap — and then some.


Verdict
The lyrics to AC/DC’s Long Way To The Top were never more appropriate. Anvil! is exactly what’s needed to slap the recent rash of doomsayer documentaries in the face — preferably with a studded, fingerless leather glove.


Reviewed by Sam Toy

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Anvil! The Story Of Anvil
Empire Star Rating

Absolutely fantastic documentary. Watch it!! You don't even have to be a fan of heavy metal to appreciate just how good this documentary is. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PureAinmhi at 11:20, 13 August 2009 | Report This Post


MEEEEEETAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

One of my favourite films of 2009 and one of the best documentaries i've seen. I'm glad the band are now getting some level of success after 20 years. Long Live ANVIL!!!!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PaulJohn at 23:08, 12 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Worth seeking out

The Story of Anvil Gervasi 9/10 I have no interest in heavy metal music but this film was in equal parts hilarious and touchingly sad. Featuring Lips and the impossibly named drummer, Robb Reiner, this film charts the attempts of Anvil to live the dream as rock gods.  It works because the director genuinely cares about the characters in this rockumentary and isn't there to take cheap shots or sarcastic laughs.  As a result, the laughs feel funnier and the emotions run deeper.&nb... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Groovy Mule at 00:33, 27 February 2009 | Report This Post


Worth seeking out

Saw this last night in London, and it really is a fantastic and moving film. I thought it would more about the laughs, but actually it is in places very sad, and conveys the strength of human spirit. Yes, it does have many laugh out loud moments, but I was also close to tears a couple of times, and felt a real part of the bands life. Even if you are not a fan of 80's metal, this film is a must for anyone who loves a solid human tale. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Fella at 21:19, 26 February 2009 | Report This Post


how can we see it??

right this movie has had loads of press and quite a few adverts in empire but WHY is it only showing in only 4 cinemas across the uk.was really looking forward to seeing it too. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by biglad72 at 15:37, 25 February 2009 | Report This Post


4 star/5 star?

Haven't seen this yet but did notice the poster has Empire giving it 4 stars. Why does it happen so often that the reviews here are different to posters and trailers? It can't be that difficult to get right. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by boriordan at 20:32, 09 February 2009 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast: David Ayer Talks Fury
Plus Steve Carell talks Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Reaction
We dive under the hood of Whedon's sequel teaser

10 Of The Most Impressive In-Universe Movie Tie-In Websites
From Blair Witch to Days Of Future Past, expand your cinematic horizons online

The 12 Apps Every Film Fan Needs On Their Smartphone
The handheld essentials to enhance your movie life

Empire Meets Jason Bateman And Tina Fey
The stars of This Is Where I Leave You hang out

The Scariest Film Of The Year? Jennifer Kent On The Babadook
The director talks us through her terrifying new film

10 Horror Spin-Offs We Want To See
After Annabelle, what other supporting characters deserve their own film?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)