Reviewing the Reviews: 'Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny'

91811__pick_lTrue confessions time: I’ve never found Jack Black (pictured, below, with Kyle Gass) funny. In fact, I kind of find him insufferable. Go ahead, give me a spanking in the comments section. I can take it, especially since I believe deep down in my soul that I’m not alone. Actually, come to think of it, let’s check today’s roundup of reviews for Black’s latest, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, and see if I have any comrades who agree that Black is the opposite of funny. Anyone?

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "While Black will only get better as an actor once he realizes that ‘too much’ is sometimes just too much, even in a toss-off like The Pick of Destiny he has real camera presence."

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: "Almost anything with Jack Black going full throttle, as he does here, is bound to have its moments of inspired lunacy. It’s just that when you have your wits about you, you start to care too much about things such as pacing and where your car is parked in the garage."

addCredit(“Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny: Zade Rosenthal”)

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News:"If sneaking into an R-rated movie filled with dirty words, dirty jokesand dirty guitar licks sounds like the ultimate adventure — or if youstill remember when it did — rock on. The D awaits."

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: "Jack Black has only one setting: all the way up. And his singing for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destinyis an excuse to slip off your noise-blocking headphones, since it’s thelast weapon in his blunt, assaultive arsenal he has yet to fully wieldat the movies."

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: "The poster for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destinyboldly heralds the release of ‘the Greatest Motion Picture of AllTime,’ but rest assured, it isn’t. Neither is it the worst, though itmight be a notch closer to the bottom than the top on a scale ofcinematic magnitude."

Teresa Budasi, Chicago Sun-Times: "The bottom line: Jack Black rocks — especially when he rocks."

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post:"At his best Black possesses the same polymorphous talent andelephantine physical grace of John Belushi. But too often it seems thathe and Gass have overestimated the entertainment value of thesex-and-drugs part of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll, reverting to shotsof the two men getting high or jokes about a common sexual functionwhenever they need to resolve a scene."

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News:"It’s pointless to nitpick a film this ostentatiously loose andloutish, but in the film’s execution much of that spirit just comes offas lazy and careless. The D’s hard-core fans may be delighted. But foranyone not committed to loving the film, it just isn’t funny or cleverenough to offset the infantile excesses and endless setups with no realpayoffs."

Kyle Smith, New York Post:"This is the Jack Black show. With his demon eyebrows and thatclosed-eye terrier head shake, Black doesn’t so much act as combust.His personality nearly spills over into the next movie at the manyplex."

James Verniere, Boston Herald:"Black, who has a colorful, outrageously profane way of expressinghimself, apparently believes that next to the Method, the finest actingtechnique is overacting."

Jack Garner, Gannett News Service:"A sophomoric dud, the film offers nary a worthwhile joke, and its truedestiny is a place on my list of the worst films of 2006. It didn’thelp that I was continually reminded of two similar, far-superiorcomedies, This Is Spinal Tap and The Blues Brothers. These guys couldn’t carry Spinal Tap‘s amps."

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • John

    I’m with you, Slezak…not a big Jack Black fan. The previews for this movie are reminiscent of “Bill and Ted,” which – while hilarious at the age of 8 – fails to entertain me at this stage in life.

  • Paul U.

    We are sisters under the skin, Slezak…I too cannot stand the comedy stylings of Jack Black. He seems to me to be trying waaay too hard.

  • C

    Black is funny in smaller supporting roles like his role in Orange County. When taken in small doses, Black is a treat. Black was also great when he toned himself down for the serious King Kong role – one where his eyebrows helped the role instead of distracting.

  • mark

    you people are crazy. jack black is an unbelievable talent who carries a film when he gets a chance. his characters, while seeming to all have similar traits, are subtly different and always fantastic and he is a far better actor then the likes of someone like sandler or whoever it is that actually does make you laugh.

  • stacydarc

    Jack black is like the poor man’s Mickey Dolenz…after 35 cups of coffee. Everytime he appears on screen I just want to wack him in the face with a frying pan. He almost single handedly sunk King Kong. Someone needs to explain to him that if you want to be an “actor” you need to express something recognizably close to human behavior and not just bug out your eyes, flare your nostrils, scream and hope for the best.

  • Brandie

    Slezak, I couldn’t agree more with you! I actually get embarrassed for Jack Black when he’s attempting to be funnyy–it’s just painful to watch! The only time I actually liked him in a movie was his take at drama in King Kong. Stick with the serious roles, Failed Funny Man!

  • jason

    jack black gets on my LAST NERVE!!! he is not funny at all, and hosting the MTV awards was like getting a root canal

  • ceej

    Please stay tuned for an important announcement:
    Jack Black is not funny.
    You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

  • cRAIG

    he’s okay i guess, but way overrated. this film doesn’t look funny at all, and his filmography overall is mediocre at best. i liked him as a bit player on Mr. Show years back, though…

  • ericalina

    i could not agree more. he is INTOLERABLE. i want to put sharp things in my eyes and ears when he is around.
    the VMAs sealed the deal for me. the most unfunny awards show EVER.
    i would not see this even if forced to watch, like i was on an american airlines flight that showed NACHO LIBRE. i will be sure to bring an eye-covering of some sort next time.

  • Miles

    I just don’t think he’s funny. Mostly obnoxious. and I thought he did great in King Kong, which was very subtle, but when he tries to go over the top, I have to leave the room, it’s like nails scratching on a board.

  • JillyRo

    AGREE! And here I was thinking it was just me, I couldn’t figure out why he keeps getting “comedy” roles. Thought perhaps I was the ONLY one who doesn’t find his loud, over-the-top “acting” annoying. Aww Slezak…you + me = great minds think alike!
    That said, his core fans seem to be in the 10-16 age bracket (my nieces and nephews liked him in School of Rock, but even they have moved on).

  • Julie

    I loved Jack in School of Rock, but since then, ehh. It’s kind of a one-note act with him and it’s a very LOUD and STUPID note. He’d be much more tolerable popping up in unexpected places and in small doses. I’m wondering how he’ll be in The Holiday with Kate Winslet…Tone it down a bit, Jack – please.

  • mon

    I’m with you Slezak, when he’s on, it’s painful. He’s too loud and just too much for me. I did enjoy School of Rock and he did a good job in King Kong, so basically i don’t mind Jack Black when he’s actually acting??

  • Cliff

    And the actresses keep getting younger and skinnier…

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