Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary By Jack Black And Kyle Gass; Audio Commentary By Director Liam Lynch; Deleted & Extended Scenes; Making Of Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny; In the Studio – Featurette; Making Of The Video – Featurette For ‘The Pick of Destiny’; Music Video: Tenacious D’s ‘The Pick of Destiny’; Jump To A Song Jukebox Feature; Trailers.
FANS of Tenacious D have been salivating at the prospect of seeing their rock heroes take to the big screen for some time but even they might be hard pressed to find anything good to say about the adventure that results.
The Pick Of Destiny is a mostly forgettable experience that strikes more duff notes than Madonna attempting to rap. It’s basically an origins story that follows the creation of the band but it never comes close to providing the “37 hard laughs, 27 chortles, three mind-blowers and two disgustipations” that JB promised along the way.
Things begin brightly with an opening sketch involving a young JB facing the wrath of his religious father (played by Meat Loaf) for rocking too loud at the dinner table, before being encouraged to embrace Satan and rock’n‘roll by a talking poster featuring Ronnie James Dio.
But it’s a curiously downhill affair thereafter as JB (Jack Black) flees his puritanical parents and heads to Hollywood to become a rock musician, and meets a fellow metalhead in beach busker KG (Kyle Gass).
The two then embark on a musical odyssey to reclaim a fabled pick and crown themselves the “Greatest Band In The World”.
Since being formed in 1994 after Jack Black and Kyle Gass met as members of the Actors Gang, Tenacious D have amassed a huge cult following courtesy of their fabled HBO sketches and legendary live shows that have seen them provide support for Beck, Tool and Pearl Jam, as well as sell out venues such as Brixton Academy. But while there’s undoubtedly much to enjoy in their music and videos, the chemistry has failed to translate to the big screen.
The script, in particular, is awash with cliche and the jokes frequently feel telegraphed and predictable, relying too heavily on crass toilet humour or seeing how many times they can get the “F-word” into proceedings. The set pieces also lack much sparkle despite taking in elements of road movie, heist caper and rock opera epic.
Black, too, seems to be delivering a wide-eyed and extremely manic rehash of previous performances in films like High Fidelity and School Of Rock.
Some of the songs do succeed in delivering the expected chortles thanks to the risque lyrics and there are nice cameos from Tim Robbins, Amy Adams and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl. But such moments are in short supply and merely expose the film’s failings more ruthlessly.
The Pick Of Destiny is therefore a major disappointment – a supposedly hilarious musical odyssey that consistently fails to rock the funny bone.
Running time: 94mins