Guilty Pleasures – Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny

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There aren’t many musical films out there, that have taken advantage of the raw power of rock and/or roll, or metal. Films such as Rocky Horror Picture Show are normally seen as  an attempt to get young men to cross-dress, while not too many people have heard of a certain Brian De Palma classic, The Phantom of the Paradise.

And then came the D, back in 2006, in an attempt to make a hard-rocking film for the ages. Did they succeed? No. And for the life of me, I cannot understand why.

Straight from the get-go POD unashamedly hits viewers with flatulence, drugs, child abuse and Ronnie James Dio. And that’s just the first ten minutes of the film.

POD is a pretty formulaic film, when closely examined, but it does so with such aplomb and heart, that it’s really difficult to not love the hard-rockin’ duo of Jables and KG.

From their destined meeting, in which Jables is put through a rigorous training program, such as stage slide exercises and having to do push-ups without using his hands (I’ll let you imagine what I’m talking about), through to their metal partnership when Tenacious D is born, POD plays for cheap laughs, but it’s done beautifully.

They may not be the Blues Brothers, but when Jables and Kage embark on a quest to retrieve the mythic pick of destiny, a guitar pick with diabolical powers, the film really hits its stride.

It’s more wackiness and nonsense, from Jables hallucinogenic Sasquatch trip, through to Tim Robbins showing up as a disheveled hobo with plans of his own for the pick, culminating in a museum break in and a showdown with the prince of darkness himself, Satan.

It’s purely dumb laughs, but what saves POD from being a rather lacklustre comedy, is the soundtrack. If you’re a metal-head, you have to give this film a watch.

The opening numbers are absolute masterpieces, fantastic foot-tapping melodies that are bolstered by Black and Kage, as well as some vocal back-ups by Ronnie James Dio, Meatloaf and the Foo Fighters very own Dave Grohl.

Jack Black is his usual manic self, with Kyle Gass quickly shifting from a moody master guitarist, once an embarrasing secret is revealed, into Blacks tagalong partner, while some outstanding cameos from Tim Robbins and Ben Stiller help seal the deal.

It’s also a film with numerous secrets hidden inside of it, little easter eggs and tidbits for those of you who love hunting through a film for them. And for a DVD release, the extra content is jam-packed.

Some fantastic commentary from the cast and crew, music videos, documentaries, singalongs, it’s almost a crime that the film can be picked up for under a R100 at most shops.

The Pick of Destiny is one of those cult favourite films that is fast, funny and ludicrous, and yet you can’t help but appreciate the effort that went into it.

If you call yourself a fan of the D, then you have to own this film.

Last Updated: May 10, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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