Marketed as a guitar summit with The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White, Davis Guggenheim's affectionate, intermittently insightful behind-the-music doc is more electric triptych than meeting of the minds. Yes, the trio gather 'round the soundstage amps to teach each other a few tricks, but it's anticlimactic—save for the schoolboy smiles of White and The Edge's mug when Page instructs them in the finer art of piloting a Led Zeppelin. But the meat of the movie deals with their individual tales anyway: The Edge showing off the schoolrooms and studios where U2 became one; Page air-guitaring along to Link Wray's "Rumble" and guiding us through the manse where the fourth Zep record was recorded; White building a guitar out of little more than wood, wire, and a Coke bottle. Guggenheim pits young'un against old fart: White bemoans "technology," while The Edge is nothing but—so much so that U2 fans may find themselves disappointed by the revelation that the Wizard is nothing but a pile of pedals behind that arena-sized curtain. It's Page, a joyful instructor and natural storyteller, who steals the spotlight.
Page is the kind of grandfather youd like to have.
Opens at Egyptian, Fri., Aug. 28. Rated PG. 97 minutes.Read Brian Miller's interview with director Davis Guggenheim.