I admit that apart from a generally favorable impression of him being a nice guy and Ewan McGregor swinging his dick on stage in Velvet Goldmine, I don’t really have much connection with Iggy Pop, his band or their music. I decided to watch this documentary mostly because it was made by Jim Jarmusch. And as an introductory film to the music and Iggy Pop as a person, it works really well.
There is probably no doubt that Iggy Pop is a charismatic dude. I mean, you don’t get to be the frontman of a band and have a long career without a modicum of character. This also becomes very clear in Gimme Danger, especially since Pop’s musical craftiness is not exactly masterful (which is not to say that his music is bad, but that’s what’s punk’s all about, right?). He’s also a really good storyteller, which makes things even better.
So you sit there listen to Iggy Pop being funny, charming and engaging (I assume that editing his tale down to movie size must have been a pain) and Jarmusch combines it perfectly with archive footage and well-chosen video material that makes Pop’s points visual(ly). And especially the animations were funny as well.
And while you listen to the history, you get a feeling for and introduction to the music and personally, I really appreciated that as well. I don’t know much punk generally and while I was aware of a couple of the songs, I couldn’t have told you any names before watching the film. Ever since, I’ve been listening to it quite a bit (especially I Wanna Be Your Dog was played a few times and made its way on my favorite songs of the year list).
That means that Gimme Danger fulfills pretty much everything I want from a music documentary: teaches me things, entertains and makes me appreciate the music of the band in question. There’s nothing I can fault it with.
Summarizing: Whether you like The Stooges or not, Gimme Danger is probably worth seeing.