Motley Crue, ‘The End’ – Film Review
At the end of 2015, Motley Crue, known as the "World's Most Notorious Rock Band," have said goodbye to the road following the conclusion of a lengthy farewell tour. The final show, dubbed 'Crue Year's Eve,' was held in their hometown of Los Angeles as they finished it all right where it began 35 years ago. 'The End' is a concert film that chronicles the band's final performance, featuring interviews with each member of the band as they weigh in on the finality of Crue.
The film opens showing the band's crew during load-in as guitarist Mick Mars describes how he wrote in his journal back in '77 that he would "have a band called Motley Crue one day and it's going to be, you know, huge." As the lighting rig is hauled upward, founder and bassist Nikki Sixx reflects on the poignancy of the band's lyrics. Fans begin to file into the Staples Center for the final Crue show, invoking a Heavy Metal Parking Lot vibe, showing off their Crue shirts and exclaiming, "Rock 'n' roll spells Motley f--king Crue!"
Motley Crue tore through a riveting set, lined with all the hits from the biggest moments in their career, including cuts from the first five records and their most recent, 2008's Saints of Los Angeles. Vince Neil was in fine form, altering his phrasing per usual, and unleashing absolutely manic Hellcat wails, especially on "Shout at the Devil," which has never sounded more aggressive.
As Crue run through classics like opener "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Wild Side," "Looks That Kill," "Dr. Feelgood" and more, footage is spliced in showing interviews with each member of the group before they walked onstage for the last time as Motley Crue. The mood is somber, though Sixx, Neil, Mars and drummer Tommy Lee are all more than eager to put the band behind them. As their tour manager notes, they all traveled on separate buses and even stayed in different hotels completely. Sixx reveals they don't hang out, go to dinner and will probably only see each other in passing from here on out.
Despite not getting along offstage, the energy onstage could not have been more electrifying as each member seems to be lost in their own world. Sixx is the most animated of the four, even wielding a custom bass with text on the body reading, "The final show." The stage setup is the largest in Crue history, dotted with massive fire cannons that send scorching hot flames careening upward in heavy use throughout the set. Explosions and more fire courtesy of Sixx's jaw-dropping flamethrower bass mark an over-the-top celebration alongside Tommy Lee's gravity-defying 'Cruecifly' drum solo.
The roller coaster track takes Lee on a cruise over the venue, reaching 55 feet at its apex as he spins on a 360 degree horizontal axis. The drumming legend famously became stuck upside down when the coster suffered a breakdown, but Lee took it in stride joking with the fans and eventually climbing his way down the track and back onto the stage.
Vince Neil led the crowd in counting down the New Year's clock as balloons rained down from the ceiling and the band ripped into "Kickstart My Heart" one last time. Two massive arms extended from the ceiling to the stage as Neil and Sixx each stepped onto the platform of one, which then sent the two around the arena as they waived to their adoring fans.
The final song of the set was the ballad "Home Sweet Home." Motley Crue stepped out to the middle of the arena on a raised platform, literally becoming the center of attention. Fans were seen with tears streaking down their faces and later got emotional on camera, thanking the band for all they've done.
Watching 'The End' is not only like watching someone attend their own funeral, but seeing them purchase the casket, tombstone and grave plot as the 18,000 plus capacity funeral procession entered and subsequently left the ceremony.
Crue fans will be able to converge at a single location to watch one of rock's greatest for one night only. Theatrical screenings of 'The End' will be in select theaters on June 14 at 7PM local time. The film will be shown in nearly 250 locations and more information can be found at the Fathom Events website.
In Tommy Lee's words, "Goodnight, f--kers! Peace! We out!"
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