Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny | B+

director: Liam Lynch
starring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Lee, Dave Grohl

PODJables and Rage Kage chronicle their rise to power in The Pick of Destiny, a movie that cements their status as the Greatest Band in the World. But they weren’t always such a band, as it took countless hours of rock squats, cock push-ups, bong hits, gig simulations and sleeping ’til the crack of noon to perfect their art. The Pick of Destiny documents the bandmates’ first meeting and the formation of their rock band, Tenacious D. Their search for the titular Pick of Destiny is fraught with all manner of peril and hardship, to the point that the band is almost broken up. Along the journey, they meet up with Sasquatch, get chased by cops, flee from a crazy old man with a limp and a blade, and draw down with Beelzebub himself. It’s a raucous, profane ride through rock & roll hilarity.

If the references in the above paragraph aren’t familiar to you, however, you’re going to have problems with the movie. It’s tailor-made for those audiences already familiar with Tenacious D and their work, a band that’s been around for close to 15 years now. A brief primer on their history: formed by two members of UCLA’s Actor’s Gang theater troupe, Tenacious D was a rock/comedy act that got their start in local clubs in the LA area, rapidly rising in prominence to the point they got a series of HBO shows before touring around the States and finally releasing a full-length album in 2001 (the fantastic, self-titled Tenacious D), along with a DVD. A bit of their work: Tribute | Explosivo | Wonderboy.

The D

They’ve built a dedicated, cult audience along the way, one that’s become intimately familiar with their worship of the Rock and the tasty grooves KG lays down. But if you haven’t followed them for a couple of years, you’re not going to know what the hell is going on in The Pick of Destiny. There are too many inside jokes and gags that only those intimately familiar with The D will fully appreciate. That isn’t to say that broader audiences won’t find quite a few things to laugh at, but I’m guessing there may be some widespread bewilderment and incredulity at some of the stuff going on. As a D fan, I don’t really care about that except in the context of getting another Tenacious D movie. If this doesn’t bust up the box office, we may not see more of The D for some time. This video might be a good starting point for those with no knowledge of the utter majesty that is The D:

It’s still a well-built story, if a bit on the short side. I would’ve preferred a bit more character development early on (that would sound pretty funny to a D fan), and the inclusion of some more stuff from their old HBO shows to fill in some of the dead spots in the flick (Road Gig, Jesus Ranch, etc.). But enough of this staid analysis–this movie rocks your socks off and nearly blows your mind. If you’ve got a hankering for The D, be sure to pick up the soundtrack as well, a track from which is the most current Song of the Moment. RAWK!

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