IT MIGHT GET LOUD is a slick documentary about three seminal guitarists from successive generations of rock royalty: Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, U2's the Edge, and the White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather's Jack White. The film follows the guitarists individually, in evocative settings like Headley Grange, the studio where "Stairway to Heaven" was written, and the Dublin high school where U2 first played together as teenagers. The three subjects sidestep music-biz gossip and open up about their influences, their approach to songcraft, and their aesthetic goals. Music lovers--guitar fanatics in particular--will thrill to some behind-the-scenes tech-talk as the artists explain how they get their respective sounds.
These fascinating individual interviews are intercut with impressionistic bits, animation, cool titles, mesmerizing vintage footage of the guitarists and their blues-singer heroes, and a round-robin jam featuring all three guitarists learning and playing each other's tunes. The live-music segments are at times awkward, as the men eye each other warily and shyly, seemingly unsure of how to interact. But when the music works--as it does on the trio's impromptu "Whole Lotta Love"--sparks fly and genuine smiles break out all over. Fortunately, these inspired moments outshine the clumsy onstage socializing, and viewers are left with the impression that these three very different masters have more in common than previously suspected.