Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Movie Review: "Nacho Libre" (2006)

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Movie"Nacho Libre"
Director: Jared Hess
Year: 2006
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

A monk at an orphanage decides to follow his dream of becoming a pro-wrestler so he can earn money for his underfunded orphanage and give the children there a better life. 

"Nacho Libre" is directed by Jared Hess, who is probably best known as the writer and director of the cult comedy "Napoleon Dynamite." This film, much like Hess's previous work, is a bit of an oddball, off-beat comedy. Jack Black stars as Ignacio, an orphan who grew up to be a monk, but has always dreamed of being a professional luchador. His primary duty at the monastery is to cook, where he makes food for the orphans that live there. The food is terrible because he doesn't have enough money to buy fresh ingredients. He believes that, if given the opportunity to be a luchador, he will be able to earn a lot of money to help the orphanage get some good food. He also wants to impress the new nun at the monastery, Sister Encarnación, played by Ana de la Reguera. Ignacio decides to fulfill his dream by entering a pro-wrestling contest under the alias Nacho Libre, and despite losing badly, he slowly starts to earn money to help the orphanage. He creates a tag team with an unlikely partner, atheist Esqueleto, played by Héctor Jiménez, who only believes in science. The pair continue their jobs as luchadors on the side as Nacho hopes the monastery never discovers his true identity since being a luchador is prohibited by his monastery.

Jack Black does his typical Jack Black style of hyper, over-the-top, very silly comedy in "Nacho Libre," but the only difference is he does so with a bad Mexican accent. Jiménez often relies more on dry delivery of witty or outlandishly bizarre remarks, so the two compliment each other pretty well as a tag team wrestling duo. There is a ton of slapstick and lots of visual gags when it comes to the pro-wrestling aspect of the film, offering up a surprisingly excellent parody of the sport as the very skinny Esqueleto pairs up with the much larger Nacho to face adversaries twice their size and much more capable. Everything from the outfits to their style of wrestling is super goofy, but as with most of Jack Black's comedies, a simple facial expression or smirky look in his much too tight luchador costume can set you into a fit of laughter provided you let it. Much of the humor here is very random, and just like in Hess's previous film, "Nacho Libre" thrives on odd, so if you hate "Napoleon Dynamite," chances are, you won't have much better luck with this movie.

All in all, "Nacho Libre" is sort of a stupid movie, but in a good way. It's completely harmless and manages to be semi-endearing, too. It's mostly just a fun film that can be enjoyed by the young and young at heart. Jack Black haters need not apply.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB Rating: 5.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 40%
Do we recommend the movie: Sure, why not?

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