Rock Docs

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It Might Get Loud

Film Review by Dean Duncan Apr 17, 2014

This film is saved from a completely pan because of the brief prospect of a joyful Jimmy Page listening to a Link Wray record in his incredibly fabulous, shelf and album-ridden music room. The rock god is just an enthusiastic, grateful kid.

Also, because U2’s the Edge seems like a deeply decent guy, and it registers. (As for Jack White, let’s just say that maybe he’s still young. [See the review for Under the Great Northern Lights , q.v., for a counter view!]) Other than that, this film, and the alleged summit that it documents, suffers from all the bad things to which rock supergroups have always prone. These guys may be famous, but they’ve got absolutely no chemistry! Their guitar jams noodle and peter out just as much as the lame ones that you and your buddies attempt, down there in the basement or out there in the garage.

Our three protagonists are the painters, the sonic designers in their respective bands, but it turns out that with this kind of music you need the conceptual front man types to make the music interesting. The Weight? WTH? As for the point of this production—actually, beyond revenue, it doesn’t seem like there is a point. The film cuts back and forth between these three guys, presenting (reasonably or even extremely interesting) biographical tidbits, suggesting that we’re leading to some kind of conclusion or collision or culmination. And when the climax come? —the sound of crickets. Nothing. Meaningless. Mind you, there is an instant during the bonus features in which Page straps on a guitar and uncorks that one descending figure from Zeppelin’s Kashmir. It’s stunning! Music is in the moments. Movies too, it would seem. That’s why it can be good, I guess, not to give up on them.