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Nacho Libre

Art House & International and Comedy movie directed by Jared Hess

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"Nacho" Not So Funny

  • Nov 14, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+1
I usually enjoy Jack Black's performances. I think he's hilarious in flicks like "Shallow Hal" and "School of Rock," but in "Nacho Libre," he tries hard, very hard, to be funny but just falls flat. Granted, it is funny to watch Black bound around a ring as Nacho Libre trying to raise money for the orphans at his monastery. It's also funny watching him try to seduce a nun. But for some odd reason, his comic stylings and those of Jared and Jerusha Hess' writing skills clash at every turn. Mike White co-wrote the script, but the Hess imprint is solid on this film as they use mundane moments for comic relief. You probably notice a few similarities between this film and "Napoleon Dynamite." You should, since both Jared and Jerusha were deeply rooted in that film as director and writers. "Napoleon Dynamite" was hilarious. I consider it to be one of the funniest films of the last ten years. But the humor doesn't translate well in a Mexican setting.

As previously stated, Black portrays Nacho Libre, or Ignacio, an orphan raised at the local monastery in Oaxaca, Mexico. Now an adult, he is in charge of the kitchen and tries his best with the groceries he is allowed to buy in town. Unfortunately this means that the orphans usually eat beans and chips. Hoping to gain more funds for food, Nacho teams up with Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez) and the duo become a very popular tag team in the world of Mexican Luchadors. His idol is Ramses (a real luchador known as Silver King). Unfortunately Nacho realizes that he's boyhood hero is also a big jerk. Things come to a climax when Nacho squares off in the ring with his former idol in order to get a huge payoff that will help buy a bus to haul the orphans on educational trips. Along the way, Nacho tries unsuccessfully to seduce Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera).

As with "Napoleon Dynamite," there is really a lot of heart buried in the primary characters. It's nice to see such things on the screen these days. Nacho is very aware of the fact that the orphans look up to him, and when he gets tied up in the glitz and glamour of Lucha, it nearly destroys him inside.

I'm not saying that this is a terrible film, it's just not as funny as it could have been. It's worthy of at least a rental, and many may want to purchase it. However, I have no plans on putting "Nacho Libre" on my shelf as of right now. Perhaps when it gets bargain priced, I'll give it another look.

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More Nacho Libre reviews
review by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Wrasslin Jack Black
   If you have an appreciation of fake Mexican accents, tag team wrestling, or orphans, Nacho Libre is for you.  Jack Black takes on the lead in this hilarious Jared Hess movie.  Set in Mexico, it features Nacho, an orphan who grew up cooking meals for the monks and orphans of the monastery.  Since childhood, it was his dream to be a luchador, or Mexican wrestler.  Finally, Nacho has had enough and goes against the monks’ wishes and begins wrestling at night.  …
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Jack Black is lovable as usual. However, this film shows a double standard on body size. It is cute to have men and little boys be of a larger waist size, but a female who on the larger size is ugly and undesirable. The actress playing the larger size woman ridiculed was beautiful, but yet her character was put into a very negative light focusing on her size and her aggressiveness. The heroic female character was of thin size and fairly soft spoken. This movie would have been much more entertaining …
review by . April 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A movie starring Jack Black in tights - Nacho Libre had the potential to be a bomb or hilarious. Fortunately, it veers closer to the latter. Black, a monk at a Mexican monastery, has a secret obsession with wrestling. He sneaks out to wrestle, but constantly loses. As the cover suggests, the film's comedy is pretty outrageous and odd, such when Black gets defeated by the midget "Satan's Cavemen" tag-team. It's hard to say why exactly the movie is funny, but it's probably just a mix of Jack Black's …
review by . April 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A movie starring Jack Black in tights - Nacho Libre had the potential to be a bomb or hilarious. Fortunately, it veers closer to the latter. Black, a monk at a Mexican monastery, has a secret obsession with wrestling. He sneaks out to wrestle, but constantly loses. As the cover suggests, the film's comedy is pretty outrageous and odd, such when Black gets defeated by the midget "Satan's Cavemen" tag-team. It's hard to say why exactly the movie is funny, but it's probably just a mix of Jack Black's …
review by . April 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A movie starring Jack Black in tights - Nacho Libre had the potential to be a bomb or hilarious. Fortunately, it veers closer to the latter. Black, a monk at a Mexican monastery, has a secret obsession with wrestling. He sneaks out to wrestle, but constantly loses. As the cover suggests, the film's comedy is pretty outrageous and odd, such when Black gets defeated by the midget "Satan's Cavemen" tag-team. It's hard to say why exactly the movie is funny, but it's probably just a mix of Jack Black's …
review by . April 29, 2009
This farce on the Mexican wrestling scene is not one of Black's better comedies ("Shallow Hal" and "School of Rock" were far superior) though it does have its entertaining moments. Black is a friar in a Mexican type of convent for orphans who is in charge of the chef duties. Basically, the food consists of a type of gruel with nachos (I guess when you combine nacho with lucha libre you get the title). Black sees an advertisement where he can earn 200 pesos as a tag team. He convinces a derelict, …
review by . April 12, 2008
Pros: very funny, perfect length, no sex or gory violence     Cons: some super silly moments, sure to make anyone roll their eyes     The Bottom Line: Nacho Libre is a funny movie decent for families with teenagers.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. Well, Jack Black has done it again. A true master of characters, Black embodies Brother Ignacio, a Mexican friar at an orphanage and monastery, who …
review by . February 20, 2007
This farce on the Mexican wrestling scene is not one of Black's better comedies ("Shallow Hal" and "School of Rock" were far superior) though it does have its entertaining moments. Black is a friar in a Mexican type of convent for orphans who is in charge of the chef duties. Basically, the food consists of a type of gruel with nachos (I guess when you combine nacho with lucha libre you get the title). Black sees an advertisement where he can earn 200 pesos as a tag team. He convinces a derelict, …
review by . January 03, 2007
Pros: Jack Black, Jared Hess writing, unique humor and filming style.     Cons: generally too silly to be funny     The Bottom Line: Clean humor all ages film. Mexican wrestling humor is not for everybody.     I like Jack Black. I have enjoyed all of his films Saving Silverman, Shallow Hal, School of Rock, King Kong, and find him generally funny. His face, his posture, his girth, his expressions, he's just a funny guy but with a big heart. …
review by . December 29, 2006
Nacho Libre is a ridiculously funny movie. All of my favorite comedies are completely silly, and Nacho Libre is no exception. There is plenty of stuff that makes no sense, as you can pretty much tell from the first "training" scene. But the chemistry is there with the cast and the script is so off-the-wall that you have to be completely lacking a sense of humor to not crack up while watching Nacho Libre. Director Hess does a great job in giving Black freedom to steal the show. The movie depicts …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #32
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Wiki

This Jack Black vehicle seems, on the surface, like a perfect fit for the actor: an opportunity to showcase Black's unique style with the extreme facial gestures and exuberant physicality that have become his forte. Black plays Ignacio, a lowly cook in a monastery in central Mexico who feeds orphans by day, and wrestles in the town square at night. Ignacio teams up with Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez), a street urchin who tormented him, to form a tag-team duo that goes up against the strangest wrestlers Mexico has to offer. Besides doing it for money to feed the orphans, Ignacio is also fighting to win the forbidden affections of Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera) with predictable difficulty. While the movie has likeable characters and the plot is enjoyable enough, it can’t overcome its plodding pace and formulaic structure enough to keep the movie interesting throughout. Jack Black is a very strong comedic actor, and the wrestling scenes offer plenty of chances for slapstick, physical comedy, but watching him run around in red briefs and blue tights amounts to half the laughs in the movie, and there’s just not enough here for him to really work with. When he plays a more well-formed character, as inandHigh Fidelity, his strengths really show. But inNacho Librehe’s saddled with a caricature. Weighed down by too much low-brow humor and a script that goes nowhere,Nacho Librejust can’t make full enough use of Black’s talents to overcome the ...
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Details

Director: Jared Hess
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: June 16, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: October 24, 2006
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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