Jack Black is almost entirely defined by his boisterous persona both on the screen and off, with the actor possessing an endless supply of exuberance and charisma that’s seen him remain a hugely popular star for the last two decades, even though the vast majority of his filmography basically has him playing extensions of the same character over and over again.
It’s a very particular niche that the 51 year-old occupies, and his career trajectory is all the more surprising when you consider his family history. The son of two satellite engineers, his mother Judith Love Cohen was involved in the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Apollo Space Program, while his brother Neil Siegel is a famed computer scientist who developed numerous key tracking and defense systems for the United States military, so it might not be an understatement to call Jack the black sheep.
Of course, the actor has appeared in countless memorable movies over the years including Demolition Man, The Cable Guy, Enemy of the State, High Fidelity, School of Rock, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, the Kung Fu Panda and Jumanji franchises, Tropic Thunder, Goosebumps and more, but few people would call Year One top tier material despite the talent involved.
Black and Michael Cera play Zed and Oh, who after being exiled from their prehistoric village for eating forbidden fruit, proceed to wander the world and encounter all sorts of Biblical figures. Produced, co-written and directed by Ghostbusters legend Harold Ramis, Year One had plenty of potential but never maximized it. The film flopped due to it barely recouping its $60 million budget, but it’s finally put a dent in the Netflix most-watched movies list after being added to the library a couple of months ago, where it currently sits in the Top 20 at #19.