Best of, Worst of… screw ‘em!
time to sink through the mire towards the stuff down there nestled
the surface. Past the big hits, cult classics, and respected
stuff where the filler lives. Maybe even a little closer to
than the top. Treacherously close to the bombs, the stinkers,
and the abominations. Films that not only don’t get love but don’t
even deserve love.
So with that we bring you… Ten Mediocre Films We Can’t Help But
Note: Each of these films is
by a single editor. These are not committee decisions, not are
representative of one unified CHUD.com editorial focus. Each author
is on their own.
Day Ten – Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny
Embraced by Renn Brown
Director: Liam Lynch
Writer: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Liam Lynch
Starring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, JR Reed
Office: $8,334,575 (Budget: 20 Million)
Goddammit, this should have worked… An decently-budgeted rock and roll film from Tenacious D, with a new album, and appearances by Meat Loaf, Dio, Tim Robbins, John C. Reily, Dave Grohl, and Ben Stiller? There was never much of a chance of getting a modern Blue Brothers type classic, but it surely could have been better than the occasionally amusing, rarely original pile of okay that resulted.
It’s easy to see how the ideas behind the movie seemed like good ones that could make for a great rock movie- a dramatization of the formation of Tenacious D, followed by the discovery of an ancient Satanic guitar pick, and a road trip to steal it from the Rock ‘n Roll History Museum. There are the makings of a fun film, but instead we got a cheap looking, half-assed comedy with a decent soundtrack. The first twenty minutes focus on KG and JB hooking up and forming the band and the reversed roles (Kyle is the cocky asshole, and Jack is the meek follower) make for some nice moments, but it’s a lot of cheesy “training” set-ups and callbacks to old jokes.
The rest of the plot runs through them road tripping, stealing the pick, having a car chase etc, but the most memorable moments are about the songs. Jack dreaming of the pair having a Satan-powered metal performance (“Master Exploder”) is great, and the car chase song is decent, though the mushroom-tripping sasquatch sequence is painfully unfunny (sorry John C.).
Everything ends on a good note as Dave Grohl pops up to reprise his role as the Satan of Tenacious D’s universe. The “Beezleboss” battle (a throwback to “Tribute”) feels like the right kind of climax to the film, and the “Devil Went Down To Georgia” scenario wraps everything up so the film can, of course, end on a stoner joke.
Tenacious D is funny because they act like two guys pretending to play guitar in front of their mirror, except they actually know how to fucking rock. That tone is all over Pick Of Destiny, which along with the over-the-top D&D metal sensibility is enough to make the 90 minutes far from a complete disaster. Once you’ve accepted that the film isn’t going to be any sort of classic, you can appreciate the lazy humor for what it is, and the well-shot songs for being awesome. For real fans of the duo and their music, there’s enough here to make it worthwhile.
Maybe this dips a little too far into just bad territory because it’s hard to say that I fully embrace Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny. I sure as hell bought the soundtrack though, and I’ll pop the film into the DVD player for some better-than-average background noise.
series on our message boards smartly, or really dumbly on the