Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny
I consume a lot of media. I like a lot of media of various quality, styles, themes, whathaveyous. When it comes to TV, I pretty much know or have seen what’s out there. With movies I’m a little fussier, because I can easily watch an entire season of a series, but it takes a lot to make me sit through an entire movie. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but it does to me. Considering this, when I’m asked what my favorite movie is, no one expects the answer to be Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny.
I first watched this with my older sister, at a time where I was a bit too young to be exposed to so many dick jokes. Regardless, we loved it so much we ended up watching it again with our mother. Safe to say I pretended not to exist during the laser deactivation scene. But ever since, I’ve seen the movie a few more times, and it’s remained a staple in our family and circle of friends. Any time we find ourselves at a party, karaoke place, or just hanging out, the songs from Pick of Destiny are always there and ready to be blasted, with the lyrics still clear in our heads no matter how long it’s been since the last time we heard them.
Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny tells the heartwarming story of rocker JB (played by Jack Black), who leaves home at a young age at Dio (the actual Dio)’s incentive and ends up in the city of Angels, where he meets musician KG (Kyle Gass). The two realize they’re destined to form a group, and in order to win a music competition, try to find The Pick of Destiny, said to give the wielder the power of being a legendary rocker. Their journey is packed with shenanigans which end with them fighting the Devil. Honestly, if I didn’t already convince you this is gold, something’s wrong with you.
Alas, here are GD’s 10 reasons you should watch Tenac:
1. They’re a real band. Tenacious D’s been making music long before they made the movie, and all their songs are happy pills. Like I said in my lil’ introductory story, it doesn’t take long for their songs to take permanent residence in your brain, they’re catchy, fun, and you can’t help but feel the good mood seeping through you when you listen to them. They are talented, professional musicians who blend a variety of genres to create fun-ass songs, and honestly, Jack Black’s voice and range are absolutely incredible. You gotta listen to them.
2. From there, the songs in the movie itself are used as storytelling devices as well. You can’t have the movie without them, as the whole point of it is basically what music means and the power of it, and they do a great job of not taking you out of the story or make you feel awkward as you might with a musical. A similar style would be another Jack Black classic, School of Rock. The movie doesn’t have music, it’s about music. It is music, and good music at that.
3. It’s absurd. From JB hallucinating flying on rainbows with Big Foot and deactivating lasers with his dick, KG’s entire superstar wishful thinking, and Dio speaking to lil’ JB through a poster, it’s hilarious and guarantees a good time. I mean, the two main characters realize they’re destined to be together because of the birth signs they have on their asses: TENAC and IOUS D. I wouldn’t recommend drinking anything during this movie because you’ll probably end up spitting it out from laughing.
4. Friendship is the key. JB and KG have really lame lives until they run into each other, and even though they get off to a slow start, they become inseparable, and it’s their friendship that gets them over the finish line in the end. Teamwork, trust, and mutual respect might seem a bit too serious ideas to be commented on during a comedy like this, but they are at the root of what makes this so lovely and heartwarming. It’s the story of two dudes loving each other and becoming brothers in every sense of the world, escaping a bleak world through their shared love of music. If that friendship hadn’t been real, KG would’ve been the Devil’s sex slave and JB would’ve been alone, and we couldn’t have that.
5. It’s chock-full of references for fans of rock. Meat Loaf plays JB’s dad, there’s the Dio poster, the Devil is Dave Grohl, the guys visit a rock museum, the more times you watch it, the more things you notice.
6. It has a predictable progression, but unpredictable events. Ask me about the hero’s journey and plot development and I could make a clear parallel between the usual pattern and Tenac. But ask me what I expect will happen and I could never guess the guys turn Satan’s tooth into a bong or JB imagines himself blowing people’s heads off with his talent. Literally. I guess the fact that it’s a “stoner” movie helps a lot with the unpredictable. Hey, not my words, Wikipedia’s.
7. Despite being a box office flop, it’s remained a cult classic people hold dear to this day. Honestly, the coolest act of rebellion they could’ve done is not be mainstream, the movie stays true to itself through that. With that said, it did and does deserve more appreciation.
8. Jack Black and Kyle Gass also wrote and produced it. Here’s a clear proof that passion projects are just as good as blockbusters.
9. It’s just so chill and fun and feel-good, it honestly puts your mind at ease. Life has been pretty shitty lately, we all find ourselves having existential crises or being subjected to sadness or anger, and generally have bad mojo following us around. 2020 hasn’t been kind to us. So do yourself a favor and take a mental break from all that by watching this movie. It’ll heal you, at least for as long as the film runs.
10. You’re still not convinced and don’t want to spend so much time on the movie? Worry not, there’s a shortcut. It’s not the full story OR the greatest song in the world though, it’s just a Tribute:
Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny achieves all it sets out to achieve. It’s hilarious, it’s heartwarming, it’s fun, and it’s pretty much perfect in my eyes. Sometimes a good movie isn’t a deep movie, but a simple, fun story. Check this one out or rewatch it for the millionth time like I will. Now’s the time!
As always, thank you for reading, and see you next week!