Mission to Lars (3 stars)

Mission to Lars

Documentary about a Fragile X Syndrome sufferer's obsession with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich

This isn’t really a film about Metallica. Even though the metal behemoth’s shadow looms large over the entire documentary, don’t expect the warts and all melodrama of Some Kind of Monster. However if you do love the mighty ‘tallica you might find even more to love in this quirky doc as journalist Katie Spicer and her sibling filmmaker William attempt to fulfil their brother’s ultimate dream. Tom suffers from Fragile X syndrome (which shares many of the characteristics of autism), a common aspect of which is a fixation on a particular subject: Tom is obsessed with Metallica, in particular their drummer Lars Ulrich.

Of course all the challenges thrown up travelling around the States trying to get backstage to meet said tub thumper (chaos, crowds) are the exact opposite of what Tom craves (routine, familiarity). However, this never feels exploitative even if Katie and William do face their own doubts as to this crazy plan. Ultimately this is a film about overcoming adversity, facing your fears, family bonding and the power of music to reach anybody and everybody.



Chart-topping metal behemoths on a world wide tour following the release of their latest album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

Mission to Lars

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • UK / US
  • 1h 14min
  • Directed by: James Moore/William Spicer
  • Cast: Kate Spicer, Tom Spicer, William Spicer
  • UK release: 8 June 2012

Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, the most common inherited learning disability. Since he's a massive fan of Lars Ulrich from Metallica, his brother and sister promise to fulfil Tom's dream of meeting his idol.

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