Dir: Liam Lynch. US. 2006.97mins.

Jack Black's mock-rock duo Tenacious D may be atongue-in-cheek musical enterprise but it's had enough success to justify above-the-titlebilling on The Pick OfDestiny, a sweetly raunchy slacker comedy purporting to tell the story ofthe band's early struggle for rock 'n' roll legitimacy. While the comedy is tootargeted and uneven to attract broader demographics, college-age fans of 'TheD' - as Black and guitarist Kyle Gass call themselves- should be amused enough to give producer-distributor New Line a decent returnon the sub-$20m project, especially when DVD sales are factored in.

Opening in North America at the start of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend willhelp give Pick some early momentum atthe box office, though it might face competition for younger moviegoers fromrecent release Borat.Given its narrower audience, however, the New Line release seems unlikely to doas well as recent and comparable Black vehicles such as Nacho Libre (which took $80.2m domestically)or School Of Rock ($81.3m).

Internationally, Pick couldwork in territories like the UKand Australiawhere Tenacious D and director Liam Lynch (himself a successful rock act) areknown. But it may not make much of a mark in markets where it is relying mostlyon Black's reputation as an actor: even School Of Rockmanaged only $49.8m outside North America.

In real life, Tenacious D'sacoustic comedy rock, which both mocks and celebrates the heavy metal genre,has caught on through concert performances, a platinum CD and a couple ofdocumentary DVDs. In the film, Black's JB and Gass'KG meet in Los Angelesand dream of rock stardom while busking for rentmoney.

When they learn about a PickOf Destiny that can turn mortals into rock gods at thestrum of a chord they set out to steal the magical item from the impenetrable RockAnd Roll History Museum.

The script (written byBlack, Gass and Lynch) provides opportunities forsome sweet-natured bonding between JB and KG, two chubby un-rock-god-likemisfits whose only fans are each other. More often, though, the film goes for Beavis & Butthead-style comedy, withplenty of effing and smoking and dick jokes.

The comedy is hit-and-missbut there's a steady stream of fun moments, many of them - including a series ofanimated inserts, an on stage dream sequence and a retina-burning magicmushroom trip - visual rather than verbal.

There's also some enjoyableclassic rock spoofery, taking in everything fromstage slides to occultism, though nothing to compare to the dead-on satire of spoof-rockclassic This Is Spinal Tap.

The soundtrack includes 15new Tenacious D songs (released on a CD that will provide useful crossmarketing opportunities). While the musical humourgets old pretty quickly, the staging of the musical numbers - some areperformed in concert, others are done opera-style within the action - makes forsome nice variations in tone and pace.

Black and Gass (who appear to be pretty handy real-life musicians)are obviously so used to their Tenacious D personae that they barely need toact to carry the movie off. Gass is usually the quietone on stage but on screen he acquits himself well as a foil for Black's manicenergy.

The film is littered withcameos by real rockers and performers who have worked with Black and Goss fromtheir days in famed LA troupe the Actor's Gang up to the present. The mostenjoyable turns come from rock belters Meat Loaf andRonnie James Dio and actors Ben Stiller and TimRobbins.

Production companies
New Line Cinema
Red Hour

US distribution
New Line Cinema

International sales
New Line Cinema

Executive producers
Ben Stiller
Toby Emmerich
Richard Brener
Cale Boyter
Georgia Kacandes

Jack Black
Kyle Gass
Stuart Cornfeld

Jack Black
Kyle Gass
Liam Lynch

Robert Brinkman

Production design
Martin Whist

David Rennie

Tenacious D

Main cast
Jack Black
Kyle Gass
JR Reed
Paul F Tompkins