Posted by: ckckred | July 16, 2012

AC/DC: In Performance Movie Review

Note: This is a review of the documentary, not AC/DC’s performances

Before I start my review, let me just say one thing: I’m a big AC/DC fan.  The only music I listen to is rock (though I do spend my time listening to some film soundtracks), and AC/DC is, in my opinion, one of the best bands out there.  Despite the fact that I was born after their height of popularity in the early 80s, I’ve always enjoyed their songs.

AC/DC: In Performance is a documentary of the legendary band (you can find it on Hulu).  It chronicles the entire history of AC/DC, from their beginnings in Australia to present day.

Most fans of AC/DC will know some of the big events, such as Bon Scott’s death in 1980 and how Brian Johnson replaced him.  But some things that fans (or just me anyway) probably didn’t know, such as before Bon Scott the vocalist was Dave Evans.

I guess I should give a little history of the band for those who are unfamiliar with them (I’m trying to tell this as short as I can).  Brother Angus and Malcolm Young founded AC/DC in the early 70s.  They hired a few other band members, and started playing rock music.  Along with Aerosmith and Black Sabbath, they were one of the first early metal bands.  AC/DC didn’t start gaining popularity until Bon Scott came in as singer.  Scott was older than the other members and more experienced, and also had a bad reputation (he was known for drinking a lot).  Albums like High VoltageT. N. T., and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap became world wide hits and gave the band a rise in popularity.  Once Highway to Hell came out in 1979, the band was one of the biggest in the world.

Unfortunately, Bon Scott died of alcohol consumption in 1980, and Angus and Malcolm expected the band to split.  But soon they hired Brian Johnson to become vocalist, and the band soon made two of their biggest albums: Back in Black (my personal favorite) and For Those About To Rock.  The only album that has sold more copies than Back in Black is Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Once drummer Phil Rudd left the band, AC/DC went into a commercial decline.  The band, however, hit it big again by the early 90s with the album The Razors Edge and by 2000 were popular again.

Okay, that was pretty long, but once I started talking, I couldn’t stop.

The documentary goes over all of this, but dedicates different lengths for different types.  The movie is about an hour long but doesn’t get until Brian Johnson’s entrance until about 40 minutes.  Another noticeable thing is that the mid 80s to present is covered in about five minutes.

Another problem I saw were the interviewees.  The film has a narrator, but makes a big mistake in showing her, something which I found pretty unprofessional.  Plus, there are no interviews with the actual band members except for some archived ones that were bad about thirty years ago.  The film has interviews with some music critics and reporters who are big fans of the band, but I would have preferred to see the actual members.  I was also annoyed by whenever an interview was up, the AC/DC logo had to be surrounding the screen.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the movie.  But as a documentary, the film isn’t very strong.  As a fan I liked the movie but as a critic I can’t quite recommend it to those who aren’t that familiar with the band.



  1. Interesting review, Love AC/DC so I’ll make sure I give this a watch even though I’m not the biggest fan of documentaries.

    • You can find it on Hulu. It’s not a great documentary film-wise, but if you love AC/DC, I think you’ll like it. Thanks for commenting.

      • Just wanted to say thanks for the comments on my blog they mean alot

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