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Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny


Stars: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Jason Reed, Tim Robbins, Ben Stiller

Director: Liam Lynch

Chubby would-be rockers Black and Gass come across as a combination of Bill & Ted, Cheech & Chong and Abbott & Costello in this rowdy, quasi-autobiographical romp.

The excellent first five minutes of their self-scripted film - with Troy Gentile amazing as the young Black - suggest the whole thing might be couched in the manner of a foul-mouthed rock opera. Alas, that's the height of it, and toilet humour soon drags things down to another level.

Gass, a bald, grinning gemlin in shorts (and no actor) and Black, a hairy, grinning gremlin in jeans, team up in Hollywood. They decide that the magic ingredient they need to make their 'band' a success is the Pick (plectrum) of Destiny, supposedly made from Satan's tooth and now residing in the Rock 'n' Roll History Museum.

Amid the frantic antics that follow, there's certainly the occasional funny line - 'Training', Gass tells Black, 'begins tomorrow, at the crack of noon' - while the climactic duel with the Devil himself is almost the equal of of the opening sequence. And one suspects that, beneath Black's larynx-ripping growl, there lurks a genuinely talented singer.

If it took the boys seven years to knock this script into shape, however, one can only suggest they should given up while they were behind.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Entertainment. Colour by De Luxe.
94 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 24 Nov 2006