You can debate this all you want, but Jack Black does have one movie that stands head and shoulders above the rest. This rockin’ film is finding some new love as it sits at #4 on Netflix’s most popular chart.
School of Rock is simply a fun movie. Jack Black is at the height of his likability as Dewey Finn, guitarist for the fictional band, No Vacancy. Dewey is one of those loveable losers, a slacker who only wants to play in a band. He is constantly down-on-his-luck and that comes into play early on.
Dewey lives with his friend Ned Schneebly (Mike White) and Ned’s girlfriend Patty. After a failed night performing, Dewey wakes the next morning to Ned informing him that his rent is late, and they are giving Dewey one week to get the funds together or he will be kicked out.
Luck is still not on Dewey’s side when he arrives for band practice only to find out that the band has replaced him with another guitarist. Dewey has no choice but to start selling off his band equipment to raise some much-needed cash.
While attempting to sell his gear, he answers the home phone. The call is actually for Ned and it’s from Rosalie Mullins (Joan Cusack), the principal at the Horace Green prep school. She is in desperate need of a short-term substitute teacher, and she needs Ned to fill in. Also desperate is Dewey, so he pretends to be Ned and accepts the position. How hard can it be?
Upon his arrival, he gets the students to call him Mr. S as he has no idea how to spell Ned’s last name. He also hears the students playing instruments in their music class, so Dewey comes up with a plan to put a band together with the kids so he can enter them in the Battle of the Bands contest against No Vacancy.
Slowly, Dewey begins to form his band. They are a strange mixture of kids, all with classical music backgrounds, making his job that much more difficult. He casts himself as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist.
Two weeks of Dewey’s unorthodox training methods have the kids set to audition for Battle of the Bands. The band is initially rejected because the bill for the event is full, but Dewey tricks the Battle staff into thinking his band of kids are all terminally ill.
Dewey’s luck, as always, doesn’t hold. Ned and Patty find out that Dewey lied and at the parent’s night at school, they confront Dewey with the police. After Dewey confesses to everything, he is misunderstood about what he said about him “touching” the kids and them “touching” him. He no longer has a job nor a place to live.
All is not lost, though, for Dewey. He still has the kids, he still has the Battle of the Bands, but how will he get back the School of Rock?
School of Rock was directed by Richard Linklater from a script written by White. The film had a budget of $35 million and brought back $131 million at the box office which made it the highest-grossing music-themed comedy of all time until 2015. The movie spawned a Broadway musical and a television series that ran on Nickelodeon.
Jack Black will next be voicing the popular Claptrap in the live-action Borderlands, where he will reunite with director Eli Roth and co-star Cate Blanchett. Says Roth via Variety, “I am so excited to reunite with Jack, this time in the recording booth,” Roth said. “Claptrap is the funniest character in the game, and Jack is perfect to bring him to the big screen.”
After Borderlands, Black will be seen in Apollo 10 ½ and then follow that with Oh Hell No, a movie that will see Jack Black’s character, Sherman, fall in love with Will’s mother. Oh, by the way, Will is going to be played by Ice Cube.
Throughout the years, Jack Black has found himself in a number of funny and fun films. From the underrated Saving Silverman to Tenacious D, Nacho Libre, and the Jumanji franchise, Black always seems to put a smile on faces when he is on the big screen.
What about a return to the rockin’ school? Talk of the sequel began in 2008 when Jack Black himself said one was being considered. Linklater was set to return as director and White was returning as the screenwriter with the film being called School of Rock 2: America Rocks.
Obviously, that never materialized but it hasn’t stopped the rumors and as recently as April 2021, the rumor has continued. Nothing has been set in stone, but by all accounts, (including our own), a sequel is in the works.
You can now rock out with Jack Black and the kids from the School of Rock on Netflix.