Based on the pedigree of guitar-hero talent in front of (Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge, consummate lo-fi band whore Jack White) as well as behind (An Inconvenient Truth helmer Guggenheim, Page as associate producer) the camera, it would seem It Might Get Loud might get truly revealing, enlightening or otherwise climactic.
Instead, the heavily hyped documentary fails to rise above meandering, minimal-effort vanity project. The intimate access granted the cameras is enviable, though ultimately utilized sparingly. Capturing each member of the trio in their haven of choice, relating their first musical stirrings, influences, inspirations and a mildly illuminating anecdote or two—or revisiting live shows and embarrassing television footage of the past—proves more frustrating than fruitful when snippets of insight into the songwriting process, finding one’s signature sound or the burning passion that carries big dreamers through inevitable hardships are left to fade away without much reverberation.
Even when the three sit down together on a soundstage to talk shop and tackle a few bars of their respective famous output, a niggling manufactured quality brings the once and future golden gods down to a socially awkward, all-too-mortal level. The junkyard-chic ax White fashions from scraps may certainly be one of a kind, but Loud maintains a disappointing assembly-line feel. A rock-solid rhythm in search of a melody.