Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Metalheads Anvil played with Bon Jovi and Whitesnake in the 1980s, but for some reason never broke through. It could have been “the Canadian thing” (they’re Canadian), or possibly the miscues of their record label. Or it might be because singer/guitarist Steve “Lips” Ludlow, still chasing the dream at 50, self-identifies as the guy who played with a dildo in his mouth. Sacha Gervasi’s Anvil! The Story of Anvil is the latest in a line of documentaries (e.g., The King of Kong, Murderball) that attempts to tell Hollywood stories of inspiring perseverance better than Hollywood. Anvil! isn’t an excoriating portrait of nihilistic narcissism like Overnight—Lips and bandmate/best bud Robb Reiner are too darn Canadian for that. Chronicling their ongoing, oft-humiliating quest for rock stardom, Anvil! instead becomes a sweet but contrived ode to innocent ambition.