Tenacious D In - The Pick of Destiny review by The Grim Ringler

Ok, so, when a movie proclaims that it is The Greatest Film Ever Made you have to approach it with some trepidation. Either the filmmakers are insane, or they know how to colorfully hype a movie. Sadly, this isn’t the best film ever made, heck, it’s not even the best comedy last year, but, well, it is the best Tenacious D film ever made. Well, um, it’s also the only one made. Uh, well, it’s pretty funny. Most of the time…

Young JB (Jack Black) loves rock music. Only, he doesn’t just love rock music, it’s his life and heartbeat. The problem is that his family is devoutly religious and frowns on the evil music that young JB finds so alluring. After a fight with his father, JB, not even a teenager yet, decides it’s time to set out into the world and find his own way – the way of rock and roll. We catch back up with Jack when he’s an adult and living in California, the heart of the rock scene. He is still struggling to find his path, but, with his trusty guitar, he is bound to find his way. Sadly, he doesn’t, well, doesn’t that is until he meets KG (Kyle Gass) that the stars align. KG is playing music solo on the beaches of Cali and the last thing he needs is someone to slow down his ascension. Ah, the thing is that there is no career. KG, we later learn, is making a pittance from his beach gigs and needs the support of his parents to be able to afford his meager apartment and his copious pot habit. It’s only until both men, Kyle and Jack, can come together under the rock and roll umbrella that they find the path they were meant to walk. They were born to be rock starts; only the rest of the world hasn’t realized that yet. So it is that the men, having played their first show, decide that they must win the local bar’s battle of the bands contest Ah, but how can they win the contest, and, by the by, get the money they need to pay Kyle’s rent? The Pick of Destiny, a mythical guitar pick that has made maestros of all that have used it. The pick though, is a powerful and dangerous thing and men – and beasts – may do anything to possess it. Jack and Kyle must risk everything, even their friendship and band, if they are to find the pick and achieve the fame and riches that is their birthright.

Something I hadn’t realized going into the film is that this is a musical. What the? This is not to say that I was displeased by the film being a musical but, well, in becoming a musical the band seems to have lost something in their songwriting. The songs are just not as fun or interesting as they are outside of the film. Which is to say – taken away from the film, I dunno that you care as much about the music here. Not a good sign. The story is utterly silly but funny nonetheless and they really do try to make an epic beginning for the band. It’s funny because none believes in these two guys, no one is on their side except for themselves. It’s funnier because even if no one else believes they are geniuses, they believe they are. That’s the important part. Hilarious.Black and Gass are fantastic in their roles and, because the characters are but parodies of themselves, the two heroes are people you really root for. Despite how well those two do though, the magic happens when actor Tim Robbins is on screen, chewing up everything in his path like a god as a crazed man who is also in search of the Pick. This is a damned fun movie and well worth a rental if you missed it at the second run theater. The crap of it is that not everything here works.

The stoner humor gets old, as its wont to, some of the gags run too long (an extended sequence of Bigfoot and JB is great but way too long), and the ending is an utter dud. That’s what really hurts the movie most, that the ending is so anti-climactic. Things are chugging along, there is an ok battle with Lucifer over the Pick and then there’s one last scene that is meaningless. It’s as if they didn’t really know how to end the film and just stopped where they were at and hoped for the best. Boo to that.

Fans of the musical duo will love the film and fans of Black will cheer that they get to see the actor unleashed again but for the average movie-goer this won’t mean much. It’s a funny movie, the music is decent, but there is never a moment that stands out as something you’ll remember to your friends long after you’ve seen it. Sadly, it’s a nice effort but pretty forgettable.


6 out of 10 Jackasses

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