Nacho Libre

Review Date:
Director: Jared Hess
Writer: Mike White, Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
Producers: Jack Black, David Klawans, Julia Pistor, Mike White
Jack Black as Nacho
Hector Jimenez as Esqueleto
Ana de la Reguera as Sister Encarnacion
A tubby priest-in-training feels bad for the kids in his orphanage because he can’t afford to cook them any decent meals with fresh ingredients. In order to score himself some cabbage in order to buy himself some…well, cabbage and other food items, the man secretly dresses up like a Mexican wrestler (aka Luchadore) and enters nightly fight exhibitions, alongside his trusty skinny side-kick. Oh, he also falls for a cutie-patootie nun recently transferred to his parish. Pretty goofy storyline, right? So’s the film!!
This film definitely isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t jam-packed with laughs, as its promotional items would have you believe, but for someone like myself, a fan of Senor Jack Black and his over-the-top goofy antics, someone who appreciates a totally original idea as a movie concept and someone who appreciates a little sweetness along with their silly humor (not sure how many someone’s like that there are out there, but I’m one of them!), this film sure is a fresh breeze compared to all of the rehashed remade TV show-movies out there, with a quick runtime, a handful of funny moments and memorable lines, and of course, Jack Black in tight spandex! Like I said before though, if Black doesn’t “do it” for you, if quirky flicks set in Mexico with a bunch of unique characters – many of which are exaggerated for laughs – aren’t your cup o’ Joe, you’re best to stay away from this movie, as you’ll likely not enjoy its goofiness. I loved much of what I experienced, including its many catchy songs (loved Black’s ode to Sister Encarnacion), the odd yet genuine camaraderie between Black and his sidekick Hector Jimenez, whose character was also quite funny (love that smile), as well as the film’s basic storyline which had a big heart at its center.

Oh, and let’s not forget the cute romance between Black’s character (a friar) and the local (hottie) nun. Sure, this might offend those with religion pumping through their veins, but for me, I recognized the whole thing as a “movie”, and enjoyed it for what it was: a fun time. On the aside, I was sure that the girl playing the part of the nun was the same (hottie) girl who played the maid in SPANGLISH, but I was wrong. That said, the main two things that I really enjoyed about this film were its unique nature, set in the world of the Mexican Luchadores, and the always amusing antics of Jack Black, who continued his odd behavior here, and just cracked me up with many of his physical moves, as well as his over-the-top enunciation of certain words. The cute fat Mexican kid also reminded me a lot of the cute fat white kid from BAD SANTA, while the film as a whole had that certain “Wes Anderson feel”, somewhat RUSHMORE-ian (although obviously, not as tight or serious). This film exaggerates for effect, it features a man of God bouncing off the ropes in a wrestling ring dressed as a superhero goofball, and at the same time, manages to develop a believable rapport between himself and a (hottie) nun and the orphans under his care. It also doesn’t outstay its welcome…short and sweet. Not for everyone, but definitely for me. I had a good time. Then again, I might be biased as it’s well-known that I looooove nachos! Dassa joke.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Nacho Libre



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