Motley Crue Bare All in ‘The End': Movie Review
You certainly can't accuse Motley Crue of holding anything back with The End, a concert film chronicling their breakup and final performance.
The movie, which hits theaters nationwide on June 14, captures the scope and spectacle of the always-theatrical band's massive stage production beautifully, and the interspersed interviews with each of the four band members makes it pretty clear why they split up just shy of 35 years together.
The band sounds terrific, delivering lively, energetic versions of all the expected classics faithfully but without sounding by-the-numbers. Of course, nobody who's been to a Motley Crue show in the past few years is going to be surprised to hear singer Vince Neil skip, miss or oddly transform the lyrics and melodies several times per song – that's just become part of the fun at this stage of the game. It's quickly overcome by the strength of the songs themselves, and of course amid all the explosions and dramatic stage stunts such as bassist Nikki Sixx's flame-throwing bass and drummer Tommy Lee's skyscraping roller coaster drum set.
(Ironically enough, the drum coaster breaks during the show, and Lee's good-natured response as he climbs back down to ground level is an unexpected highlight.)
The spoken segments with Neil, Sixx, Lee and guitarist Mick Mars can occasionally kill the momentum built by the live footage, which is typically grouped together in two or three song segments. But they also offer a surprisingly unguarded portrait of four guys who just aren't in sync anymore. "These guys are going in four different directions," notes their tour manager. "They're on four different buses, most of the time they're staying in different hotels from each other... some days they like each other, some days they don't. Most days they don't."
When asked exactly why they're breaking up, Lee exhales sharply and says, "ooof, man that's loaded," before lamenting how many "thousands of times" they've played the same songs in concert. "Me personally? I just can't do it anymore."
Hearing Sixx say of his bandmates, "we're not enemies, but we're not friends" or that he'll "probably never see them again, except in passing" is a bit depressing for any longtime follower of the band. Then again, if that's how they really feel it's at least pretty cool of them to be so honest and open about it, and to work past those feelings to deliver a worthy and thoroughly enjoyable farewell tour (and movie) for their fans.
You can find out where Motley Crue: The End is playing near you by visiting FathomEvents.com.
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