Three men. Three musicians. Three icons. Two really good guitarists. And so you have the meat of “It Might Get Loud”, the much anticipated “movie” starring Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White.
“It Might Get Loud” tells the personal stories, in their own words, of three generations of electric guitar “virtuosos” The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), and Jack White (The White Stripes). However, the subtitle could easily be “which one of these is not like the other” as despite the film’s attempt to give the viewer an inside look into the minds and hearts of unequivocal rock legends, the pace and feel of the film is overshadowed by what can only be described as a hiccup in casting.
Where it does succeed is in revealing how each musician developed his own unique sound and style of playing favorite instruments. The premise revolves around a day when Jimmy Page, Jack White, and The Edge first meet and sit down together to share their stories, teach each other famous riffs and play. From there the viewer sees breakaway scenes of each telling their personal story, air guitaring and remembering how they developed their craft.
Fans of Page and the Edge will not be disappointed as the film shows both in their elements – one surrounded by shelves of guitars, the other in a former school room and giving the viewer a very intimate and surprising, “hey these guys are just doing what they love” kind of feel to two of rock music’s most recognizable and copied forces. Thankfully Page comes across as human and The Edge is depicted as having a soft side rarely seen on stage or video.
The aforementioned hiccup is Jack White. Admittedly, he is stretching musical boundaries but in terms of being a major contribution if he is to be this generation’s greatest guitarist, someone needs to go back and recount the votes. White peaked with The Raconteurs, and while admittedly his work is experimental and w.o.p. (weird on purpose), it feels remarkably out of synch within the context of “It Might Get Loud”. Out of the three guitarists White is the least original following in the footsteps of The Flat Duo Jets, The Ramones and nearly every underground Bluesman you’ve never heard of. Chances are within the next year he’ll do a bad cover of Stairway and wear a knit cap.
Thankfully, “It Might Get Loud” rises above White’s mediocrity and gives some real insight into some of rock’s greatest legends; even if there are only two in this story.