Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

File:Tenacious d in the pick of destiny ver3.jpg

During a recent trip to a record store, I discovered a Tenacious D single, The Pick of Destiny. Coincidentally, when I visited a different one soon after, I found the album, The Pick of Destiny, which said single belonged to. This was my first time listening to Tenacious D, but when I listened to it, I liked it. It was actually a quite humurous recording, and it showed off Jack Black's guitar playing quite nicely (if you have not heard Tenacious D yet, I suggest you keep it from younger listeners, as there is cursing abound). I was also aware that the album belonged to a movie of the same name, so I figured I might as well watch the movie to round out the experience. One rental later, I can say one thing: it was enjoyable, but didn't exactly live up to my expectations.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny stars the members of Tenacious D, Jack Black and Kyle Gass. If you're a fan of Jack Black, you may remember him from the movie School of Rock. The movie begins by showcasing the "origin" of Tenacious D and how they met. Jack Black, called JB and Jables throughout the film, meets Kyle Gass, also called KG and Kage in the movie, and wants to be a better guitar player. After looking at various magazine covers, the two realize that all the guitarists featured use a similar, strange looking pick. While visiting a guitar store, they are told that it is, in fact, the Pick of Destiny, forged from Satan's tooth, and that whoever wields it will become the world's greatest guitarist (citing Van Halen as an example). Tenacious D then sets off in search of the legendary pick, in order to win an Open Mic competition, and hilarity ensues.

I am aware that a show about Tenacious D aired before this movie came out, but since I have not seen it, this movie was my first exposure to the fictional history of the band. The movie was actually easy to follow, delivered in a steady pace. The movie did a good job of presenting itself as a comedy, though it did become more of a stoner film at one point, which I will talk about later. The mythology surrounding the titular pick was actually kind of interesting, which makes using a replica pick a bit more empowering.

The characters of Jack Black and Kyle Gass seem more like charicatures, though they actually have deep qualities of their own. In the beginning, JB is briefly shown to have a bad relationship with his father, which actually contributes somewhat to certain parts of the movie, and shows that he is a bit insecure because of it. When this doesn't appear in the movie, he is more of a man of action, and is more serious about his goal to obtain the Pick of Destiny. KG at first seems like more of a mentor to JB when he's introduced, but during the first act, this falls apart and reveals that he's actually poor, relying on others for money. He also has more of laid-back type of personality, and isn't so serious at first about getting said pick. Jack Black's performance was a bit hammy, especially compared to Kyle Gass', though this actually made the film a bit funnier.

On the humor side, this movie was really funny at times, however, I didn't really find it as funny as I thought it would be, since a lot of the humor was very lowbrow for being rated R. Aside from that, I actually got a good laugh out of it every so often. One of the better examples would be a scene where JB becomes high in a forest and believes that he's related to a sasquatch, which in hindsight also seems to reveal more about his lack of a father figure.

While this movie had its moments, the thing I liked the most about it was the music. I recognized the songs after hearing them from the album first, but some of them are much better, and often funnier, with the visual accompaniment. Of particular note is the song "Classico," where JB improvises words to go along with Kage's guitar playing, and especially "Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)," which was just as epic watching as it was listening to.

Overall, it was an enjoyable movie, but I'm not sure I would exactly own it if I wanted to see it again. In my opinion, it's good for a quick rental if you're in the mood for something different. If you're a big Jack Black fan, especially one of Tenacious D, and wish to complete your collection, I would definitely recommend this movie to you. Otherwise, I suggest you rent this movie first before you decide whether or not to own it.

No comments:

Post a Comment