Whoa-hoa-hoa, yeah! Dude, you can’t like The D, you have to love The D, bow down at their feet and praise Satan for allowing them to rock so hard. In other words, you have to understand that this review is being written by a Tenacious D fan. If you are one too, run to the theater (and buy the soundtrack!), this is everything you’ve been waiting for! If you don’t know them yet, don’t despair: all you really need is a special affection for ’70s hard rock and ’80s hair metal, where you can see how ridiculous the megalomania, mythology and devil worship are, but you embrace it anyway! If not, tough shit, go to the mall.
You should know where you fall just from the genius pre-credits opening sequence, in which a young JB (the incredible Troy Gentile, who nails all the JB mannerisms) is torn between the authority of his strict Christian father (Meatloaf, who hadn’t sung on the big screen since “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”!) and the temptation of satanic rocker Ronnie James Dio (as himself!). The movie then moves forward a few years to when grown-up JB (now played by Jack Black at his most shameless and charismatic) finally meets KG (Kyle Gass, who has developed perfect chemistry and comic timing with Black) as he’s busking on a Hollywood beach. It’s obvious from the get-go that they’ve formed the greatest band in the world, but the world hasn’t quite caught up to it. They want to “pay the rent with rock”, but for that they’ll need to find that little something extra that made The Who, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin golden gods…
Enter the Pick Of Destiny! Up until that point, as fun as the movie’s been, there is a sense that it’s mostly a patchwork of all the classic bits from the D’s HBO series and their first LP. But before you know it, it becomes an epic quest in which our Two Kings have to break into an impenetrable fortress (the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!) and use all they learned during their training, notably the art of the power slide and the ever-useful cock pushups. And in the end, they’ll have to face Satan himself (Dave Grohl) – in a rock-off, of course! The flick also features a couple of hilarious dream sequences (including one with John C. Reilly playing Sasquatch!), a touch of sex and drugs to go with the rock & roll, and the inevitable succession of cameos from Ben Stiller, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen and, most memorably, Tim Robbins (who, incidentally, founded the theatre troupe in which Black and Gass met).
“Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny” is undeniably one of the best rock comedies ever made: it’s “Spinal Tap” and “Wayne’s World” rolled into one burrito supreme, with extra rocket sauce!