Heavy Trip (2018)
SHOULD I SEE IT?
Heavy Trip is charming, funny, and a nice surprise.
Well-acted and written, this is a film that celebrates our inner artistic voice, and gives a unique look at how art can change lives.
This might make you, for 90 minutes or so, a fan of grindcore black metal music.
This Finland import is funny, but some may feel the tone and feel is repetitive and predictable.
Part of its charm is that it is rather soft-spoken, in all actuality, and may get passed over and overlooked by a lot of potential viewers.
The music is almost secondary, but if you can’t stand listening to even a little black metal or grindcore, I guess this is not the movie for you.
25 years old and serving as the lead singer for a grindcore/black metal band in his native Finland, Turo is at the crossroads. His nameless band has been together 12 years. They rehearse in his parents’ garage, rip through covers of speed metal and more conventional hard rock fare, in and around the band’s work schedules and other commitments.
Oh, also…they have never played a gig. Like ever. And this makes Turo petrified when his band is inexplicably invited to perform at the upcoming Northern Damnation Music Festival in Norway. Soon thereafter, in their small town, Turo and his mates become instant celebrities, and the band begins to wonder – “Hey, what if…?”
Heavy Trip stars Johannes Holopainen as Turo, and he is joined by guitarist Lotvonen (Samuli Jaskio), drummer Jynnky (Antti Heikkinen), and bassist Pasi (Max Ovaska), who works as a librarian with photographic memory when it comes to music. When the band attempts to write new material, Pasi instantly can recall any song, artist, and/or album he has ever heard. As soon as Lotvonen plays something, he cuts it off because he knows a song with the same riff.
Of course, this guy is also someone who recommends a mother and daughter check out Ugandan death metal, as opposed to the Justin Bieber album the teenage daughter asked for.
As Turo bikes to work as a nurse’s assistant in a elder care home, he frequently crosses paths with Miia (Minka Kuustonen), a local florist. They strike up a friendship, but are often interrupted by overbearing lounge singer Jouni (Ville Tilhonen). Miia convinces Jouni to give Turo’s band an opening slot at a club show, after learning about the festival, and suddenly, Turo and his band, who will eventually settle on the name Impaled Rektum (…) start to put themselves out there into the world.
Directed by Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren, Heavy Trip is quite entertaining; a genuinely amusing and often funny comedy about sharing your unique voice with the world. The screenplay, co-written by Laatio and Vidgren, along with Aleksi Puranen and Jari Olavi Rantala, sets up a number of jokes and visual gags, with dry humor and slapstick comedy keeping things light and airy.
While Impaled Rektum is one of the worst names imaginable (the band opts to not use Fetal Death to “avoid bringing children into this’), Laatio and Vidgren create a nice contrast between four hard-rocking metalheads and their inherent sensitivity and anxiousness in moving forward with their music. This serves as something we connect with, an endearing quality that invites us in as participants to a charming story of a fledgling metal band you never knew you needed.
Some nice slapstick comedy moments combine with some heartfelt ones as well and as the movie moved through its paces, I found myself smiling bigger and bigger.
We see numerous movies about artists struggling to find the courage to share their voice with the world. And although Turo has his band, and a growing connection with Miia, and something of an enemy in Jouni, Heavy Trip finds humor in the introspective places screwball comedies often overlook.
No matter how we get there: Grunting out indiscernable lyrics, finding a sound to play on guitar which emulates jamming an animal carcass in a slaughterhouse meat grinder, or simply painting your face to look the part, Heavy Trip embraces the inner artist in all of us.
CAST & CREW
Starring: Johannes Holopainen, Antti Heikkinen, Samuli Jaskio, Minka Juustonen, Max Ovaska, Chike Ohanwe.
Director: Juuso Laatio, Jukka Vidgren
Written by: Juuso Laatio, Jukka Vidgren, Aleksi Puranen, Jari Olavi Rentala
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Music Box Films