Inferno Reviews: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

Stupid, juvenile, and disgusting. That’s a perfect three-word description of Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ new film Tenacious D in ‘The Pick of Destiny’ is. Although, it seems as though the necessary key phrase “comedic genius” has been unaccounted for. Directed by Liam Lynch (of The United States of Whatever fame), the film sets out to be incredibly epic. Through an opening consisting of tarot cards and one of the most intense opening songs a film could use, the process and journey of how Tenacious D came to be is done incredibly well.

Starting off in JB’s (Black) home town of Kickapoo, we see a 10 year old JB striving to rock out. Stuck in a highly religious family who sees rock as Satan’s music, JB kicks off the musical comedy with the previous stated rocking opening song. After being told off by his father (Meat Loaf), young JB consults his rock god, Ronnie James Dio, who consults him to head to Hollywood to pursue his musical dream.

After several years running around with his guitar Monster Mash to the wrong Hollywoods, JB finds himself in Hollywood, CA, in the presence of Kyle Gass. After struggling, they form their band: Tenacious D. JB and KG then find they must pay the rent, and the only way to do so is winning an open-mic contest with their lack of talent. Noticing all of their rock heroes have used the same guitar pick, they find it’s the chipped off tooth of Satan himself. The film revolves around the search for the Pick of Destiny and their quest to be the greatest band on Earth.

First off, the soundtrack is masterfully comedic. Done entirely by The D themselves, the Black and Gass have concocted entirely new songs. Although they’re new, they still capture The D essence. They’re funny in the incredibly crude sense and essentially shouldn’t be any other way. The songs also carry the story in a quite literal way: they depict what’s going on at the particular time.

In a way, the film takes off from where the HBO TV series left off. It’s vulgar and lewd, but it’s great. Language forbids any detail about the excellence of what exactly is funny, but rest assured, it’s something that D fans and comedy fans will enjoy greatly. Essentially, the film prides itself on stupidity, both musically and acting.

Cameos and references are abundant in the film. Not having to look closely at all, you’ll see cameos from Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins and Dave Grohl. Lee from the show, played by JR Reed, also has a larger role. Cameos of legendary rockers’ guitars play a huge part. When you see Eddie Van Halen’s infamous guitar with the cigarette burn, make no mistake, for that is the actual guitar. Interiors of the Rock and Roll History Museum are sure to make rock enthusiasts excited.

In the end, the film is sure to pull in more D fans than before but still keep their long devoted fan base happy. Far from perfect, the film still manages to maintain its comedic genius through the ridiculousness of JB and KG. They aren’t meant to be taken that seriously, but that’s what makes the joke funny.