Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
(November 14 /06)
Despite the presence of such familiar faces as Jack Black, Tim Robbins, and Ben Stiller within its cast, The Pick of Destiny has clearly been designed to appeal solely to fans of Jack Black and Kyle Gass' rock/comedy band Tenacious D. As the film is a natural extension of their short-lived HBO series (as well as their self-titled debut album), there's little doubt that detractors of the duo will find exceedingly little worth embracing here.
The Pick of Destiny tells a heavily fictionalized account of the formation of Tenacious D, starting with Jack and Kyle's first encounter in Venice Beach. Much of the film's first act follows Kyle's efforts to train Jack in the art of rocking, with the remainder of the storyline revolving around the pair's efforts to steal the so-called "pick of destiny" - a guitar pick forged from one of Satan's teeth that supposedly gives the user preternatural guitar skills.
Directed by Liam Lynch (who shares a screenwriting credit with Black and Gass), The Pick of Destiny admittedly gets off to an awfully bumpy start - with the film's opening half hour virtually unwatchable (this is despite the inclusion of a thoroughly entertaining opening musical number featuring Meat Loaf as Jack's father). The uneven vibe stems primarily from the training sequences, which are mildly amusing but ultimately pointless; it's not until Jack and Kyle embark on their quest to retrieve the titular item that the film becomes as enjoyable as one might've hoped.
That they encounter a whole host of familiar faces on their trek surely doesn't hurt - with John C. Reilly's all-too-brief appearance as Sasquatch an obvious highlight - nor does the expected emphasis on the D's quirky musical stylings. There are even a number of in-jokes and references that are aimed squarely at the fans (ie we finally learn the origins of their song Tribute), which certainly cements the feeling that The Pick of Destiny will undoubtedly frustrate neophytes looking for an entry point into the world of Tenacious D.