Tenacious D - the folk-rock band created by Jack Black and Kyle Gass on HBO’s comedy sketch programme “The Mr. Show” - make a premature leap to the big screen in this meandering comedy written by the film’s stars.
Rebelling against his puritanical upbringing JB (Black) heads off to Los Angeles and teams up with metalhead guitarist/bald beach busker KG (Gass). After weeks of rock training the pair form the band Tenacious D, and embark on a quest to recover a fabled guitar pick that will make them the most powerful group the world has ever seen.
Going into this film we had no idea what the “D” of the title stood for, but after sitting through 95 minutes of Black’s familiar crazy-eyed rock act we can think of a few.
Directionless: the plot could be written on the pack of the fabled guitar pick they are searching for, and serves only to tie a collection of unoriginal set-pieces together.
Deafening: the soundtrack is cranked up to 11 on the volume scales and despite the occasional moment of inspiration (Meat Loaf’s early cameo as JB’s disapproving Dad) the tunes soon become monotonous. Dated: We’ve all seen Black’s tired routine before - most notably in the superior School of Rock. It is about time we saw him tackling more varied roles such as his unconventional turn in last year’s King Kong.
Dull: While the final “rock-off” with the Devil raises some much needed late laughs, and there are decent cameos from Tim Robbins and Ben Stiller, most viewers will be scratching at the cinema door by the time the credits finally start to role.
As for the extras Black, Gass and director Liam Lynch produce an energetic, if slightly inane, talk track while Lynch also introduces 15 deleted and extended scenes and a decent outtake reel. A 25-minute “Making Of” featurette reveals that Black and Gass spent nearly 10 years working out the plot, suggesting that they may be the least productive duo in movie history.
Rounding off the package is an “In the Studio” featurette that sees the duo working on their tunes, and the finished music video for Pick Of Destiny.
For any die hard Tenacious D fans out there (we presume there must be some as otherwise why would the movie have been made in the first place?) this thorough special features package offers plenty to get your teeth into.
Staring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Jason Reed, Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, Meat Loaf, John C. Reily, Dave Grohl
Directed by: Liam Lynch
Extras: Commentar, Deleted scenes with introduction from director Liam Lynch, "Making of" Documentary, In the Studio" featurette, "Making of the Video" featurette for "The Pick of Destiny", Music Video: Tenacious D's "The Pick of Destiny", Jump to a song jukebox feature