Glenn Kenny
October 16, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

For Those About to Rock

Current Status
In Season
84 minutes
musical, Documentary

We gave it an A

This concert documentary’s seemingly uninspired title, For Those About to Rock (from a song by headliners AC/DC), masks what is in fact an engrossing, sometimes unsettling, and ultimately moving video. In the wake of the attempted right-wing coup that shut down the Soviet Union last summer, the headbanging youth of Moscow (many of whom took part in resistance efforts) were treated to an all-day ”Monsters of Rock” concert that also featured Pantera, the Black Crowes, and Metallica. As directed by rock-video vet Wayne Isham, this 84-minute tape unflinchingly chronicles a day initially marred by violence but ending in joy — AC/DC’s shredded-metal-voiced front man Brian Johnson seems positively overwhelmed as the band caps off its set late in the night. The brilliantly edited live footage (which also boasts killer sound) is interspersed with scenes of Metallica and AC/DC members visiting some of the sites of the failed coup, and their reactions are as sensitive as anything the mainstream U.S. media served up during those days of tumult. A

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