Mission to Lars  (2012)    59/100

Rating :   59/100                                               74 Min    Exempt from classification

As a Metallica fan I thought I’d give this a whirl. It’s a documentary following brother and sister Will and Kate Spicer’s attempt to facilitate the meeting of middle sibling in the family, Fragile X syndrome sufferer Tom, with the person he admires the most in the whole world – Lars Ulrich, drummer and co-founder, along with James Hetfield, of hard rock band Metallica. We get some insights about Fragile X from the parents, Tom’s carer and an expert in the field that they interview, and we learn that some of the things that people with the condition find difficult are changes to their normal routine and loud noises. So, as the siblings conclude half way through, dragging him half way across the world to Metallica concerts in Vegas, Sacramento and Anaheim on the last leg of their world tour, was perhaps not the most ideal way to spend more time with him. Especially not when they add filming him constantly into the mix.

Up until this point, it is very difficult to come close to understanding the other siblings let alone like them (Tom is much more agreeable), and it does beg the question of ‘Ok so you’ve decided to give this a try, but why make it into a documentary?’. We learn that Will is an amateur filmmaker, does this justify the project? Or just make it all the more exploitative? I suppose having cameras around may help sell their idea on the road …

Without giving away what happens, although I did want to see the film through to the end it just really isn’t altogether that interesting. In fact, it’s been filmed in a very cold, clinical manner that detaches the audience to a degree and not enough effort has been made to be either original nor to incorporate much in the way of music or information about Metallica (or indeed terrifically much about Tom and his condition) . Perhaps they were a little miserly when it came to the rights to use their tunes …

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