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Nacho Libre
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jack Black
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: It's meant for them, being rated PG and all, but they just might think Nacho looks funny in his stretchy pants.
Date Movie: This is really probably better for Dad and his boy.
Gratuitous Sex: Hinted but nothing the kids would understand.
Gratuitous Violence: Wrestling type.
Action: Ehh.
Laughs: There's a lot of dry humor.
Memorable Scene: I loved the scene where Nacho was "flying" at Ramses.
Memorable Quote: Nacho: "I used my hand to wipe my tears."  It makes more sense in the movie.
Directed By: Jared Hess
Produced By: Jack Black, David Klawans, Julia Pistor, Mike White

Nacho Libre
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG

It's 1:40 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I think I might just crush one of our staff member’s world right here when I finally admit to him that I have never watched "Napoleon Dynamite." There, I’ve said it, "Stu, I’ve never watched ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’" Whew, that feels good to get it off my chest. Don’t get me wrong, I laugh at pretty much every Napoleon quote I hear, and can even do an impression, but I have never watched the movie. What the hell does that have to do with a review of "Nacho Libre?" Well, it’s because Jared Hess directed and helped write both "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Nacho Libre," so pretty much they roll off the tongue in a similar vein. At least I guess so, because, well, I do know that Napoleon had a goofy sidekick named Pedro, and for "Nacho Libre," Nacho has a goofy sidekick, this time being Esqueleto. Enough of my truthful liberation, let’s get to the movie…

For "Nacho Libre" we get Jack Black playing Nacho. He’s a friar in a monastery, but he’s not happy. First he’s stuck with the crappiest of jobs, trying to make a decent meal for the orphans out of slop. Second he wishes he could be a wrestler. And third, he’s sort of wondering about the whole "vow of celibacy" thing. This really comes into play when Sister Encarnación (Ana de la Reguera) shows up to help teach the children. But one night Nacho runs into Esqueleto (Héctor Jiménez), trying to steal the broken tortilla chips saved for the orphans. In a weird twist of fate Nacho finds himself with Esqueleto in the Mexican wrestling circuit where they find they get paid even if they lose, and now Nacho has a mission: Help the kids but still buy cool clothes for him. But the good Sister hates wrestling; Nacho wants to really be the champion, and the wrestler Ramses (Cesar Gonzalez) stands in his way. Nacho has some soul searching to do, the orphans are looking for a hero, and I’m thinking at times the good Sister is sometimes questioning her vow of celibacy as well. All of this is supposed to make for a good time of fun, and at times it does, but for a lot of other times, it didn’t. At least for me.

I have to say this, when I heard that this movie was from the folks that brought us "Napoleon Dynamite," and the writer of "School of Rock," maybe I just got my expectations too high. You see, I appreciated the dry humor I had heard with Napoleon, but loved the story of the kids in "School of Rock." I think the underlying problem I ended up having with "Nacho Libre" was this movie was pretty much all Nacho and Esqueleto, and not so much the kids. And I think that was too bad. I suppose I should try to explain. Hmm? Let’s put it this way – in "School of Rock" we were rooting for a group of way-talented kids. In "Nacho Libre" we are supposed to be rooting for a dude in stretchy pants. For a PG movie, aimed supposedly at kids, I want more kids.

Look, this review is all over the place because I really don’t know where to dictate my likes and dislikes with this movie. Jack Black always makes me laugh, and when he did his "flying" scene during the final wrestling match, I was laughing my ass off. The problem was that for the most part I didn’t care because it was really just Nacho and Esqueleto getting beat up. Wait a minute, I think I just had my epiphany as to what I was really looking for in this film.

Fine, give me Jack Black and Héctor Jiménez with the Napoleon and Pedro humor. But you know what, let the orphans be the key. In "School of Rock" Dewey sculpted the kids in a covert kind of way. In "Nacho Libre" I think it would have been more fun if the orphans were the sculptors, in the same covert kind of way. Let them take charge: One of them designs Nacho and Esqueleto’s costumes, one of them handles getting them booked in the matches, some of them help with their physical training, and one of them happens to be a ringer, remembering glimpses of his father as a great wrestler before his father died, and being able to teach these moves to Nacho, especially just in time for the big match.

Look, I know the film folks tried to keep to the story of the Mexican wrestlers, but for me, I enjoyed it but couldn’t really relate. I would have really liked the orphans to be more involved.

I suppose I’ll let this movie go at this… If you are a fan of "Napoleon Dynamite" humor, and Jared Hess, you will probably love this movie. I could see his fans in the theater enjoying every bit. If you are looking for a "School of Rock" kind of movie, this definitely isn’t it, because the kids don’t have much involvement. Because of this I have to give the movie 2 ½ stars out of 5. I understand the aspect of trying to portray the "Mexican Wrestler" story, but would have liked a little more "School of Rock" incorporated into it. I will say this, though, that I, like Nacho, am now in love with a Nun.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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