Monday, July 09, 2007

Review: "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny"

I stumbled across Tenacious D years ago, after stumbling into the house late one night and flipping on HBO. I remember laughing my ass off, thinking "it's a shame these guys will never go anywhere." I guess it shows how much I know.

So now that Jack Black is in demand, it's nice to see that he hasn't forgotten the people who were watching him on HBO at two in the morning all those years ago. He and Kyle Gass released a record a few years back under the Tenacious D moniker, and now comes the movie.

The movie covers the fictional beginnings of the band and a quest to find an ancient pick made out of the devil's tooth that has supposedly made many of the world's greatest guitarists who they are. If they get the pick, they're almost assured of greatness.

Of course, the plot really doesn't matter. It's Jack Black's manic energy and over-the-top personality that makes the movie. He's one of the few actors in Hollywood that can be consistently entertaining, even in a lousy movie (which this one isn't.) Gass has always been the straight, quiet guy of the duo, but we get to see a little more of him in the early going, and he has some moments as a cocky, fake rock god.

There are also some nice cameos sprinkled throughout the show, with Meat Loaf starring as Jack's father and Ronnie James Dio jumping out of a poster on his door to sing a song that urges him to follow his dreams. Tim Robbins shows up as a creepy, bumbling villain who had his leg ruined while trying to steal the pick, and of course, Dave Grohl reprises the role of Satan.

The movie is as much a musical as a film, and it works on both levels. No, it's not great cinema, but did you expect it to be? I laughed often, and I enjoyed the corny songs, and that's really all I wanted. Long live the D.

Get "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny."

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