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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday, April 20, 2014 - Edition No 893 

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TENACIOUS D: THE PICK OF DESTINY

SYNOPSIS:
Kicked out of his home in Kickapoo by his religious family, JB (Jack Black) heads for Hollywood to pursue his dream of a career in rock music. He meets up with failed busker KG (Kyle Gass), and together, as the band Tenacious D, they try to make their fortune. As they are rifling through some old rock magazines, they notice the one thing in common that all their rock idols have, is the same distinctive green guitar pick. When they learn it is exhibited at the Rock and Roll Museum, they concoct a plan to steal it, so they too can acquire the secret of rock and roll and become legends.

Review by Louise Keller:
Being a Jack Black fan is mandatory for this zany, energetic and relentless buddy movie, rock opera and crass low-brow comedy which no doubt has more appeal with mood enhancers. It is all in the name of rock 'n roll, and Black teams with Kyle Gass in pursuit of a magical green guitar pick, fashioned from the tooth of the devil. Black has a cheeky, likeable demeanour with his quizzical eyes darting furtively and his unruly mop of hair flying in the wind, as he belts out foul-mouthed lyrics and high voltage rock tunes. It's a bit like being struck by musical lightening in a freak electric storm, with an added thunderclap of mad-cap laughs for good measure. In parts inspired, in parts tedious, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny is a hyperactive dose of Jack Black in a self-indulgent rock fantasy.

'You guys are like electric dynamite,' says JR Reed's pizza delivery guy Lee, when JB adds obscene lyrics to Bach, which KG is busking on the sidewalk. Bald and overweight (after his long black wig is discarded), KG makes an unlikely rock-star candidate, but an amenable stooge for Black. They smoke weed, order Bob Marley extra crispy pizza and decide to call themselves Tenacious D, being a combination of the words scribed by the birthmarks on both their backsides. Highlights include cameos by Meat Loaf (as JB's religious fanatic father), Ben Stiller (as a woolly haired weirdo in the guitar shop) and Tim Robbins (as the one-legged foreigner with bad teeth). Foo Fighters front man Dave Foley makes an imposing and fiery Satan, with whom JB and KG make the wager they cannot lose.

The language is foul and there's plenty of colour (including a magic mushroom fantasy segment). There's a running gag about JB finding different ways to put the tool of his manhood to use which I won't reveal, except to say it involves climbing the Guitarway to God Heaven and hitting a laser switch before a madcap car chase. Tenacious D found its origins as a short-lived television series on HBO. It's raucous fun only for the fans.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TENACIOUS D: THE PICK OF DESTINY (MA)
(US, 2006)

CAST: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Jason Reed, Ronnie James Dio, Troy Gentile, Paul F. Tompkins, Ned Bellamy

PRODUCER: Stuart Cornfeld

DIRECTOR: Liam Lynch

SCRIPT: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Liam Lynch

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Brinkmann

EDITOR: David Rennie

MUSIC: Andrew Gross, John King

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Martin Whist

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 15, 2007







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