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Iron Maiden: Flight 666

Flight 666
Three stars

Deepti Unni May 21, 2009
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It’s a known fact that Iron Maiden rarely do things in half measure, whether it’s their elaborate stage props, the exuberance of their songs or their grandly orchestrated tours and people have often wondered about the band’s motivation. Despite their stupendous 30-year career in heavy metal, the band has got barely any airplay and the fans of the band are as old, if not older, than the fans themselves. But this is precisely the phenomenon that filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen explore in their third landmark rockumentary Flight 666, as the lucky twosome and their crew travel with Maiden on their customised Boeing 757, Ed Force One, on the band’s Somewhere Back in Time tour.

The documentary captures some breathtaking concert footage ”“ opening with the Mumbai leg of the tour ”“ intercut with fan interviews (Lars Ulrich and Tom Morello included) and footage of the band on their time off. Maiden are clearly on the top of their game ”“ never mind that they’re twenty years past their prime ”“ and this is what the filmmakers primarily mean to show. Almost half the documentary is concert footage ”“ and this becomes the film’s main problem ”“ after the first three shows, it begins to get repetitive. Fans who’re expecting high drama and an expose of down-and-dirty backstage politics will also be frustrated; throughout the film Maiden are nothing if not professional. But where the film really comes into its own is in showing the loyalty and adoration of fans around the world ”“ camping outside gig venues, quitting jobs to come and watch Maiden play, breaking down in tears after the show ”“ which will really connect with audiences. This film is more a fan tribute by the filmmakers to the band they love rather than a dramatic show-and-tell; expect no more and you won’t be disappointed.

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