The ride did not last long: The band stayed together just over two years and produced only one album, eventually getting banned from clubs in England and feared in venues in the United States, and in 1979, Vicious died of a heroin overdose.
Temple situates the Sex Pistols in history by juxtaposing photos, interviews and concert footage with scenes of the social strife taking place at the time and contemporary clips from commercials and sitcoms. Interestingly, his interview subjects are masked in shadow, giving their testimony an anonymous air.
Unfortunately, any external observations of the band by the press or otherwise are mocked, limiting the film's objectivity and resulting in a conceited account of the band's influence and importance, exemplified by the members' comparison to Richard III and playing their song "Anti-Christ" in accompaniment to riot footage. Ironically, the Sex Pistols did not seem to recognize the irony in singing about anarchy and signing bigger and bigger contracts with each new label. They expounded on the importance of telling the truth, but the truth is their story is hardly as compelling as they would like it to be. Starring the Sex Pistols. Directed by Julien Temple. Produced by Anita Camarata and Amanda Temple. Documentary. A Fine Line release. Rated R for pervasive strong language, drugs and sexual content. Running time: 105 min