Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny

2006, Movie, R, 93 mins


Fans of the self-proclaimed greatest band on earth, Tenacious D, rejoice: No longer must you sift precious nuggets of D-dom from Mr. Show, parse the Wonderboy and FHG music videos for hidden meanings, or obsessively rewatch the paltry three half-hour shows HBO dedicated to celebrating the D's scorching magnificence. Finally, a major motion picture lays bare the secrets of Tenacious D's rise to moronic metal majesty and the lengths to which KG (Kyle Gass) and JB (Jack Black) went to insure their delusions of preeminence. Ultimately, TENACIOUS D is a sight gag — two unprepossessing, chunky dudes rocking out like wiry guitar gods — supplemented by spot-on digs at the macho bombast and Dungeons & Dragons silliness that drives heavy-metal mania. The film starts off on a high note, in full-fledged rock-opera style: Ten-year-old rocker-in-training Lil' JB (Troy Gentile, also Jack Black's youthful stand-in in NACHO LIBRE) shocks his conservative family with his full-throated love of rude metal music, earning a good walloping from his father (Meat Loaf), who also rips down Lil' JB's posters. But a vision of Ronnie James Dio (playing himself) — his picture alone survived, like a sign — convinces him that his rock-'n'-roll destiny lies in Los Angeles. Years later, the grown JB makes his way to the Venice Beach boardwalk and is enthralled by portly axe-meister KG, who later agrees to impart the way of the rock star. Master and acolyte bond over bong hits and form a band dedicated to preserving the true flame of raunch rock: Fate gave them complimentary buttock birthmarks that spell out the name "Tenacious D." Fate is stingy with rent money, though, leaving them desperate to win an upcoming open-mike contest. And the key to victory just might be a guitar pick carved from the tooth of Satan himself and passed down from one great musician to another. The trouble is that it's under lock and key in a museum: If they want the pick of destiny, they're going to have to steal it. There isn't enough plot to fill out the film's 90-minute running time, but there are rude laughs (cock push-up... enough said) and inspired bits tucked in amid the padding. Tim Robbins (Tenacious D was conceived while Black and Gass were part of his Actor's Gang), Ben Stiller and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl contribute cameos, and Sasquatch drops by for a hallucination sequence. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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