It Might Get Loud
At it’s best, that’s just what happens on It Might Get Loud.
Whether it’s Jimmy Page reminiscing about the musical style known as skiffle, Jack White recalling how he discovered the blues, or The Edge talking about his first guitar, the theme is clear: this is about a palpable love of music.
Amusingly, like many guitarists, these three don’t play so well with others. If this documentary falls a bit flat at any point, it’s when Page, White and the Edge jam together.
The result is a bit forced, and a bit of a let down.
Not to worry. Those jams make up only a tiny portion of It Might Get Loud.
Instead, we spend time getting to know each of the three guitar legends: their inspiration, their ideals and their artistry.
Jack White preaches the gospel of ramshackle blues and traditionalism. He sees modern recording techniques as the easy way out. For him, art should be a struggle.
Jimmy Page plays us songs from his vast record collection, bubbling with childish enthusiasm. He helps us understand how Led Zeppelin allowed him to escape the constraints of being a session musician.
The Edge lets us see his geeky mad scientist side, tinkering with effects pedals and searching for the next new sound to take his music further.
None of it is particularly groundbreaking, and the filmmakers never really tease out the tensions between, say, The Edge’s and Jack White’s view on the guitar.
In fact, It Might Get Loud doesn’t really shed much new light on any of these three guitarists. But it does come across like a love letter to the guitar, elegant and joyful.
Page, White and The Edge’s enthusiasm is infectious. It’s no coincidence that in the days after watching this documentary I dusted off Led Zeppelin IV.
That’s what a good music film will do to you.
Reviewed by: Rhett Snell