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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.73%
Pretty Bad: 13.64%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
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by brianorndorf

"A burrito, chicken, and cutlass supreme all rolled into one"
5 stars

Jack Black and Kyle Gass finally get their chance to blow out the back of the movie theater with “The Pick of Destiny.” A wild, hilarious, sonically perfect musical comedy, this slice of madness should send fans of Rage Cage and Jables into a euphoric fit. For newbies to the “Greatest Band in the World,” welcome friends, you’ve selected one of the best comedies of the year to spend time with.

Finding his father (Meat Loaf) is unable to understand his rockin’ ways, Jack Black (a perfect specimen of dirtball majesty) runs away from his Midwestern home for the good life in Hollywood. There he meets Kyle Gass, a beach bum with genius guitar licks. At first reluctant to join forces, Kyle and Jack find the only way to blow minds is to form the greatest band in the world: Tenacious D. However, in order to rock hard, they need the dangerous and mysterious Pick of Destiny. Embarking on a fantastical cross-country journey to steal the pick, Kyle and Jack end up with cops, a crazy old man (Tim Robbins), and Satan himself on their tail.

Tenacious D has been a very strange concept since their debut back in 1996. Basically an updated version of Abbot and Costello, only now with bong smoke and heavy metal pumping through their veins, The D undercut their goofy leanings with their genuine musical skill. Their 2001 debut album is honestly one of the finest rock albums I’ve heard in the last 20 years, priming them for their feature film starring debut.

Fans of The D will not be disappointed by this borderline psychotic romp through the sunflower fields of rock supremacy. Director Liam Lynch has been on The D’s creative team for years now and doesn’t hesitate in the least putting Black and Gass through a kaleidoscopic journey of rock, animation, car chases, tarot card fantasylands, giggles, and...well, more rock. “Pick of Destiny” is an instant midnight movie staple, and earns it not through irony or hipster pandering, but through legitimately exhilarating filmmaking that brings out the best not only The D’s comic timing, but in their musicianship, hurling on the unsuspecting public another album’s worth of tracks worthy of The D canon.

While “Pick of Destiny” surely has a high-wire feature film quality to it, the essentials of the picture basically belong to Tenacious D’s old HBO show. The screenplay has tremendous stoner fun telling the origin story of the band, and how Gass took wild advantage of the very green Black, but the majority of the initial interplay has the slow burn joke pattern of the television show. “Pick of Destiny” is head-slappingly hilarious, but it doesn’t exactly peel out like one might expect it to.

Once the action crosses over to the quest for the pick, the film takes off like a jet, punishing Black and Gass in a series of slapstick sequences that will appeal to any comedy fan, but some hold great delight for D fanatics. I’ll just say that all those cock pushups Black has been working diligently on for years finally pay off. There’s also a riotous, psychedelic exchange between a hallucinating Black and his old pal Sasquatch, who takes the dreaming singer on a ride through the rainbow clouds and down the strawberry river. “Pick of Destiny” doesn’t hide the hint that perhaps a more altered state of mind is in order to soak up the lunacy, but the audio and visual carnival presented here can easily be enjoyed by everyone.

The real jewels of the film bookend the story; two pieces of thrilling rock opera open and close “Pick of Destiny” on a barnstorming note of epic musical storytelling that nobody does better than The D. Lynch warmed up to this freestyle method of alternative cinema with last year’s sublime “Jesus is Magic,” but here with a much larger budget, the creative juices splatter on the screen. At first, we witness a frustrated Jack Black trading verses with Meat Loaf and the all-powerful Ronnie James Dio, but the rocket sauce is saved for the finale, where Black and Gass do battle with none other than Satan (Dave Grohl) for the bragging rights to Gass’s anal virginity.

“The Pick of Destiny” is a Gravitron ride of nard-crunching brilliance and explosivo satisfaction, and it’s been a long time coming for Tenacious D. Finally they get their opportunity for big screen domination, and wouldn’t you know it, they reign supreme there too.

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originally posted: 11/22/06 17:24:30
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Austin Film Festival For more in the 2006 Austin Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/31/10 James Pretty dumb, but funny. KG and JB are actually pretty good at making comedic rock. 4 stars
1/11/08 NoOLINp This leaves out a main character, Ben Stiller. 5 stars
11/13/07 DrejGG they are the greatest band in the word!! and the film is fucking AWESOME 5 stars
3/03/07 AJ Muller Will melt the faces of true D fans and should make some new ones; your mind will be blown. 5 stars
2/05/07 William Goss Screwy, scattershot, but crass fun for the willing. 4 stars
12/12/06 Tiffany This was a dumb movie. Jack black is crazy 3 stars
12/11/06 Carra F'n AWESOME 5 stars
12/04/06 Nicole Fucking Awesome! Their Greatness is off the charts! 5 stars
12/02/06 shagtex Black is back and does it again 4 stars
12/02/06 Ryan Smoke a bowl, and lay back and enjoy, pure brilliance 5 stars
11/27/06 sirina stupid movie but funny at times 3 stars
11/27/06 Tyrantis Awesome for Rock & Roll and/or Tenacious D fans. For others... meh. 4 stars
11/27/06 Cal Awesome! 5 stars
11/24/06 masterblaster greatest fucking movie ever made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -period. 5 stars
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  22-Nov-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Feb-2007



Directed by
  Liam Lynch

Written by
  Jack Black
  Kyle Gass

  Jack Black
  Kyle Gass
  Jason Reed
  Meat Loaf
  Ronnie James Dio

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