Making the Grades
If you were introduced to Jack Black as a wannabe Battle of the Bands winner in School of Rock and/or as a kind-hearted monk in Nacho Libre, then you may associate this actor with comedic roles aimed at grade school kids and teens. But that is not where this dynamic and fun performer got his start in showbiz. Thanks to his recent box office successes, Black now has enough celebrity muscle to write and make an R-rated movie that returns to his not so family-friendly roots.
In the beginning, Black and another guy named Kyle Gass, started a rock band after meeting in an acting troupe in 1985. Called "Tenacious D," the boys had a difficult time gaining much airplay due to the vulgar nature of the lyrics and topics of their songs. However, HBO gave the duo a chance to reach a larger audience in 1997 and 1999 when they made a half-dozen TV episodes of Tenacious D. Eventually the pair released a CD as well.
In this movie, which mirrors their original series, Black and Gass play themselves, under the character names of JB and KG. Here they meet at Venice Beach, where KG plays his guitar for coins. Luring JB into believing he can become a rock star, KG begins a scam using JB as a groupie and drug delivery boy. However, the game comes to an end when KG's mom calls and says she won't support the freeloader's LA apartment any longer. Although KG is crushed, JB convinces him that the two of them can still pay the rent with their music. All they need is the power of a cherished guitar pick, carved from one of Satan's teeth, that is presently guarded in a rock 'n roll museum.
The 300-mile road trip to steal the magical trinket, gives the script plenty of time for profanities, vulgar sexual comments and expletives, as well as depictions of recreational drug use played for laughs. For those concerned about satanic depictions, Lucifer himself makes an appearance (played by Derek Mears) along with comments about homosexual relations between the devil and KG.
While Black's performance is still skilled and energetic, those who discovered him in other more kid-oriented films are certain to agree Tenacious D in 'The pick of Destiny' isn't going to be music to many parents' ears.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
Parents with children who follow certain celebrities, may want to take this opportunity to point out and discuss how the same actor may appear in a broad range of movies that are created for very different age groups.