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The Character Everyone Forgets Jack Black Played In Waterworld

Jack Black is everywhere, all around us, at all times. He's in the smile of every child, in the glint of light shimmering on a morning dew drop, and in your head for the next two or three days because you just read the words "this is not the greatest song in the world."

And he's in movies, in case you haven't heard. Lots of movies — the guy has over 150 acting credits listed on his IMDb page. His career really started to pick up steam around 2000, with High Fidelity arguably marking the watershed moment when he began to inch toward real stardom. So, it can be a little baffling when you spot him in his formative years, popping up as a background extra in Demolition Man, or a guy named Monte in the episode of Touched by an Angel where Melissa Joan Hart gets wrapped up in the seedy world of bootleg CD sales. All this, and so much more, actually happened.

Another prime example: In 1995, Jack Black made a brief-but-striking appearance in Waterworld, one of America's top three favorite movies where Kevin Costner has gills.

Jack Black's tenacious Waterworld appearance

As Mad Max movies go, Waterworld is certainly the dampest, least authorized, and most expensive. And thanks to one thrilling airplane-versus-trimaran battle sequence, it's also the Jack Blackiest.

The scene: The Mariner (Kevin Costner), Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and Enola (Tina Majorino) are tracked down by the nefarious Smokers, pirates with a penchant for gas-powered mayhem. The situation is grim. Our heroes are stuck on their sailboat like a bunch of nerds, while the bad guys buzz them in a Helio H-295 Super Courier seaplane with a mounted machine gun. The pilot? None other than the Kung-fu Panda himself.

Black's role is a limited one. His lines are pretty much confined to grunting in frustration and, in a particularly optimistic moment, telling his trigger happy gunner not to hit the kid while he strafes a moving boat with automatic fire from the back of a low-flying aircraft. Tragically, the whole outing comes to an abrupt end when the most accurately wielded harpoon cannon in history launches four feet of steely death through the gunman, and Black winds up in what could best be described as "the reverse Empire Strikes Back snowspeeder maneuver." 

Blessedly, Black's character escapes and flies off into a vast horizon filled with opportunity and water. Maybe he'll be back for the sequel.