They say fact is stranger than fiction. Well, as mainstream cinema continues its descent into the clatter and boom of multiplex tricks like The Avengers reality certainly seems to be providing a richer – more fertile – seam for fresh narratives. So if you don’t fancy having your synapses fried this summer, Mission to Lars looks like it might provide a decent diversion.
This feature length documentary follows the trials and tribulations of the Spicer siblings, Kate and Will, as they set out to make Tom, their brother’s dream of meeting Metallica’s Lars Ulrich a reality. Given that Tom suffers from fragile X syndrome (the most common yet rarely discussed cause of inherited learning disabilities, akin to autism) the trip obviously has in built purpose – but also many challenges.
With no clear ‘in’ with Metallica, the trio travel from southern England to America, where they pick up a camper van and hit the highway, crossing the country to pick up chase on Metallica’s latest tour, hoping to get Tom an audience with Ulrich.
What few write ups there have been have suggested Mission To Lars is a must-see, a serious feel-good that stays with you after you leave the theater. One journalist suggesting it plays out as “if Little Miss Sunshine were a documentary”.