Some Reflections of Guitarist Randy Rhoads Make This Documentary an Alright Riff
Simple but full of heart, it's a film of fond memories.
Jamming with your rock band in a family garage, making noise, causing a ruckus, and pretending to be "cool" if just for a few moments - what an after-school activity. For Randy Rhoads however, such activities weren't just for the moment, but for the passion and for a legacy. The documentary Randy Rhoads: Reflections of a Guitar Icon paints a crystal clear portrait of the man and his talents, which are, across each and every interview, stated as being great. And, by all accounts, he was a kind and generous soul too, wanting nothing more than to just play music. If anyone ever understood the language of music, it was him.
Described in mythical tones and high notes, Reflections of a Guitar Icon treats Randy Rhoads as a complete and total legend, in life and death, for all time. And really, that's the main thing that this documentary has to offer. No matter how ecstatic and excited the interviewees are, they mostly just say the same thing over and over: Randy was great. This repetition gets annoying and frustrating at different points, as does the use of voice-over narration, which made the movie run much faster than it should've, leaving me with little to grasp onto. Randy was great, and that's just about it.
Where Reflections of a Guitar Icon goes from zero to sixty is when it showcases concert footage of a famous solo that Randy Rhoads was known for with Quiet Riot, called Laughing Gas. He riffs for what feels like a lifetime, loudly and proudly, going through diverse sounds, techniques, and emotions. The film stays with this sequence, never cutting to narration, and using an interviewee sparingly to describe why what Randy accomplished here was excellent. More of that would've been very welcome.
Randy tragically died in a joy-ride plane crash while touring with Ozzy Osbourne, cutting off his career and life awfully short. This event comes into the documentary right at the end, followed by ceremonies for the man that took place decades later. Placing his death at the end tip of the film was the best decision, as Reflections of a Guitar Icon is truly a celebration of legend, and a tribute to a life lived brightly.
Down at the garage, kids become heroes to one another, and heroes live forever... until summer ends and college comes closer. For Randy Rhoads at least, summer never ended, and he played like a hero for as long as he could. This documentary isn't the best about the best, but it is a fine monument to man and music. To a legend, I'm sure that's alright enough. 2.5/5
Randy Rhoads: Reflections of a Guitar Icon is currently available on demand.