This documentary was released in 2008 but I only watched it a few months ago. It is a feel-good and laugh-out-loud funny, but also deeply serious and metallic look at a band, that has the heart to be the biggest band in the world, but the success of a three-legged bull trying to cross the English canal, in flight.
No matter what you may think of Anvil's music this documentary is worth watching. The core of the documentary shows how Anvil try to stay true to themselves and how they struggle to find the respect they feel they have worked so hard to deserve. The humanity on display here will resonate strongly with anyone who have ever dared to believe in something, risk everything and fight tooth and nail through all obstacles. That is what childhood friends and founding members of Anvil, Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner, have done when the documentary opens, 20 years down the road from their almost-but-never-quite-breakthrough in the early 80'ies. Unfortunately they have never come out on the other side, but they have kept going strong where most others would give up and move on. This documentary follows them through their daily work, struggling family life, sudden opportunities and the entusiastic joy and sheer determination with which they face every curve ball thrown at them. This especially goes for Steve "Lips" Kudrow.
The fact that this might as well be, but is not, a mockumentary like "This is Spinal Tap" gives the whole thing a poignant feel. As opportunities open you hope for the band to succeed, only to face yet another disappointment. To have a documentary about a heavy metal band actually bring the viewer on the verge of tears only goes to underline that underneath all the layers of all the outrageous stuff on display, beats a heart, passionate and filled with unrelenting soul.
When, by the end, the band is invited to a huge festival around the world, only find out they have been given the opening slot in the early morning, the anticipation and excitement of what will happen is hard to put into words.
This documentary strongly conveys the essence of hope and comes highly recommended.
To quote Robb Reiner: "If you're human, if you've got a heart, you can relate to this story."