One thing that I realized coming out of Heavy Trip was that this is one comedy movie that you don’t need to fully understand to enjoy. It was unpredictable, hilarious, extremely weird, but charming in its own way. Each of the band members were personalities in their own right, giving off different perspectives and colors to the film. The plot and comedic timing were almost perfectly executed, albeit having dry and parody-like humor.
Within the first few minutes of the film, we get to follow the life of main character Turo, and his misadventures with his yet unnamed heavy metal band. One can already tell that they are outcasts in society, since Turo is called names such as loser and gay by his neighbors as he bikes to Lotvonen’s house. For one, I got to empathize with his character because all he wanted to do was be himself and pursue his passion, but he has gotten so much criticism for being “different”. But once he is reunited with his longtime friends, they jam to a metal song and the mood is significantly lifted. Seeing how seriously they take the band and their career can make one chuckle, but it is also admirable to see these small town friends dream big.
The action picks up when they discover their “sound” accidentally, write and head bang to their first original song, and almost secure a spot on Northern Damnation as if by fate. This springboards Turo’s confidence, as he starts to talk to Miia and wants to impress her—by lying about their gig. As much as one wants to root for and relates to his character, what he did was essentially wrong, and we get to see it backfire later on. He is revealed to have a really bad case of stage fright, and while the vomiting scene was scarily disgusting, it was too funny to take one’s eyes off the screen.
The band then faces many setbacks and hardships, including Jynkky dying, stealing Jouni’s tour bus, kidnapping a musically talented psychopath, almost getting arrested as terrorists in the border, and, seemingly, jumping off a cliff into their death. Even though these events would seem very dire in a normal movie, this one just exceeds your expectations. The boys didn’t die in the fall, and instead make their way into and play in dream festival, Northern Damnation. Turo gets the girl, and even the approval of her overly-protective police father.
All in all, the film was made to be a light-hearted, quirky comedy movie. There were so many ways this could have gone wrong, and there were a few kinks, but overall I enjoyed it too much to care. Never would I have thought that I would like a movie about a heavy metal Finnish band, but Heavy Trip proved me otherwise. It was able to flesh out admirable yet adorkable characters, make one feel bad about their circumstance but also laugh out loud at the same time, and genuinely appreciate metal in a non-parodic and sarcastic way.