VIDEO: The trailer for Anvil! The Story of Anvil
"When Anvil first showed up on the scene . . . these guys were going to literally turn the world upside-down." That's Metallica's Lars Ulrich at the outset of Sacha Gervasi's documentary. In 1984, the cocky Canadian rockers shared stages with Whitesnake and Bon Jovi, only to fade into total obscurity as other up-and-coming metal acts copped their chops and steamrolled past.
Why did Anvil fizzle? A merciful director, Gervasi never reveals the answer, but you can hazard a few guesses as you watch the band (especially lead singer and shredder Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner, childhood friends who live to torment each other) bumble and squabble their way through small-time gigs and business negotiations, hamstringing their formidable talent. A
s Lips and Reiner strive for a comeback, they create a few Spinal Tap–like moments, but Anvil still resolves into the most satisfying film ending I've seen all year.