Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > Anvil! The Story of Anvil Review

Anvil! The Story of Anvil Review


Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is the story of a failed Heavy Metal band that refuses to give up even after 30 years of being knocked down. It is the ultimate "Don't Give Up!" story. It is a wonderful documentary that refuses to mock or ridicule the band. Nicely done!

My review 4 Stars

If you grew up in the 80’s you were probably a fan of heavy metal music or at least you were familiar with the genre. If you are a fan you probably listen to bands like Metallica, Mega Death, Slayer, Black Sabbath, among many others. If you were a diehard fan you probably even listened to or heard of a band called Anvil. If you are an 80’s child and never heard of a band called Anvil, don’t be disappointed, nobody did!

Anvil is a heavy metal band that started in the late 70’s in Toronto, Canada. The two main band members (at least the two that were featured most in the documentary) Lips and Geza met in high school and formed the group out of their garage—just like many great heavy metal bands of the time. However, unlike all of the great heavy metal bands, Anvil never really made it. They did record several mildly successful albums and they did have a following of fans, but the one thing that they never accomplished was the fame and glory that all of the other groups achieved. They never went platinum, they never even went gold. What happened? If you ask me it’s because they sucked! But what do I know? I am not a big heavy metal fan.

It has been over 30 years since the band first got together and once again the band once again got together to record a new album and went on tour to promote their new work. However, this wasn’t a comeback tour. This wasn’t a reunion either. The band never broke up, they just never made it, but God bless them for trying. For more than thirty years they have tried and tried and tried. It’s the epitome of never give up!

Anvil started playing when they were in their teens and never looked back. They are in their fifties now and they are still rocking with the same vigor and energy they had when they were younger. My only thought is, is this something to admire, or is this something to pity?  I asked myself the same thing upon seeing the documentary that was independently produced by Sacha Gervasi about the band Anvil, The Story of Anvil.

The documentary is a close and personal look at the current life of the both of these two individuals and the band. The film showed us the life they lived and they life they live now and ironically they are not all that different. Since the band has never made it big these guys live their life in debt, working regular low wages jobs since they never graduated from high school.  They are and practically living hand to mouth.

What did I learn from watching this film? I learned that Lips is not the smartest man in the world, but he has passion and abundant spirit. I learned that he loves music so much that he’ll do just about anything to play. I learned that his friend and his family are more important to him than fame and fortune. I admire that, I wish more people were like that, though I can’t imagine much would get done if more people were like him.

I also learned that Geza loves his friend as much as a man can love another man without being gay. He has stuck it out with his friend for more than 30 years and has no intentions on giving up on him ever. Friendships like that are so rare in life let alone in the music industry. Lips should realize that maybe he hasn’t made in the music business, but he surely made it in life. He does what he loves to do, he has loyal and great friends, he has an understanding wife who supports and loves him, what else could a man want?

About the documentary itself, I thought it was well done. I thought the filmmakers did a great job at keeping their opinions to themselves and letting the audience make up their own minds. They brought to the audience different points of view of both individual lives to help us understand who these two men really were. There was no judgment that protruded from the film and that to me was a breath of fresh air. This film could had easily turned into a let’s poke fun at these giant losers! But it didn’t. This was a nice piece of filmmaking and I would recommend it to any fan of music or any fan of human interest.

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