2006
Rated: R for graphic language, and mild violence.
Genre: Musical Comedy Adventure
Directed By: Liam Lynch
Running Time: 1:33
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/20/07
Special Features:
14 Deleted/Extended Scenes, Plus Alternate Ending and Outtakes
3 Hilarious Featurettes
"Jump-to-a-Song" Feature
Music Video

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TENACIOUS D IN: THE PICK OF DESTINY

 

I’ll openly admit that I’ve never quite understood the appeal of Tenacious D. But then I never understood Tenacious D either. Are they a rock band? A spoof band like Weird Al? Are they both? I don’t get it, I’ll admit it. If you want to school me, by all means E-Mail me with videos and a history lesson. Either way, “Tenacious D” looked like a great film for me for the simple fact that I like Jack Black, and the movie just looked so damn funny. “Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny” is the long-awaited film adaptation of the band Tenacious D, one of the early comedic efforts from Jack Black. “Tenacious D” is really just that musical for the rockers, and that’s one of the reasons why I was so sold on this from minute one. We’re given musical numbers, but more in the rock sense and not rock opera bullshit. While “Tenacious D” has definite traces of said sub-genre, I found it more to be a rock musical with Jack Black clearly flexing his ability to sing his ass of like Meatloaf.

“The Pick of Destiny” explores the formation of JB and KG one day in the middle of Hollywood. Made in the vein of “Tommy,” Liam Lynch coordinates his three act film with surreal visuals, colorful characters, and interludes of sheer entertaining rock music. JB loved to rock, he was told by his dad that he couldn’t, and he set off to Hollywood to find his path in life. “The Pick of Destiny” isn’t just a gimmicky rock musical, it’s also very funny.  

Black and Glass are a great comedy duo, and they help deliver some of the funniest gags of the film, including Ben Stiller’s introduction into the Pick of Destiny, the obligatory cameo from Tim Robbins, and their first performance with a hysterical written intro. There’s also some great meat for the rockers to chew on; there’s a great cameo from Meatloaf who plays JB’s dad who attempts to tear down his love for the music, and Dave Grohl as Satan with the help of some utterly fantastic make up effects, note of interest. It’s also helpful that for once a modern musical has some great fucking music, and while in some sense the music from Tenacious D is satirical, there’s also some genuine guitar work from these two. These plain rockers are just enormous in presence, musical skill, and riffs, period.

“Master Exploder” is perhaps one of the best rock tunes I’ve heard in years. And I’m not ashamed to admit that. “The Pick of Destiny” is a basic origin story with Glass and Black thankfully providing strong performances amidst their own paths in the band. And Lynch is never afraid to get utterly surreal with some scenes that will inspire a raised eyebrow or two. I don’t know how long I laughed during the Sasquatch piggyback ride, and the rock off with Satan a la “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is also a capper that Black and Glass pull off with flair. “The Pick of Destiny” is on a rocky road from the beginning with many instances of pure ridiculous attempts at humor, but Lynch and co. never disappoint the cynics. This is not a film that is intended for the intellectuals with deep analysis a must, it’s a simplistic hilarious movie, with two utterly talented gents who give us a truly excellent rock musical that I couldn’t help but enjoy.

Even if you don’t get the band or their purpose, “The Pick of Destiny” may just win over the rockers of old and new. Black and Glass have talent, they rock hard, they give us a surefire winning rock musical that will sell all non-believers. I absolutely enjoyed it, and I may just continue exploring Tenacious D after this.

 

 

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