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  Publicity Stills of "Nacho Libre"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Jared Hess
Starring: Jack Black, Héctor Jimenez, Richard Montoya, Ana de la Reguera, Peter Stormare
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG

Official Site: http://www.nacholibre.com/

Release Date: 20 July 2006

Synopsis :

Jack Black stars as Ignacio (friends call him Nacho), a Mexican priest who moonlights as a lucha libre wrestler to raise money for his orphanage in this comedy from the creators of “Napoleon Dynamite” and the writer and star of “The School of Rock.”

Movie Review:

Written and directed by Jared Hess, Nacho Libre is his latest offering after 2004’s unexpected cult hit, Napoleon Dynamite. Similar to his first movie, both stories are about outsiders sporting big curly hairdos with oddballs for best friends.

Set in Mexico, the protagonist of this story is a priest by the name of Ignacio (starring Jack Black), better known as Nacho, an orphaned boy whose childhood desire to becomes a wrestler is suppressed by the priests, and he eventually grows up to become a monk doing “cooking” and “dead guy” duties for the orphanage. Considered the lowest ranking member among the other friars, however, the children like him. When a homeless man steals the orphans’ nachos and the head priests insult him of his bad cooking skills, he decides to take off to take part in the masked luchadore wrestling. All in hopes of winning money to buy better food so that he can prepare a better meal for the children and gain the affections of the beautiful Sister Encarnación (Ana del la Regura). Soon he begins living a double life between friar and masked lucha libre, and he finds himself on a hilarious journey to ultimately make life better for those at the orphanage.

With Beck and Danny Elfman at the helm for the soundtracks and scores, a strong Mexican influence can be heard throughout the movie and it compliments the story very well. No doubt many will take note of the superb tunes used, especially Mr Loco’s Religious Man (aka the “I am, I am” song). Also, the cinematography of the movie is surprisingly good. A great improvement from Napoleon Dynamite, with the clever use of effective lighting and bright colours contrasting against a stark and dirty landscape, along with the look of the cast, it helps maintains a visual delight throughout the movie.

The script is actually very witty and there is an eccentric and earnest quality to this movie. However, if you’re not one for the strange and offbeat, don’t watch this. If you’re looking for a movie with sophisticated humor, I suggest that you go rent a Woody Allen romantic comedy instead. Nacho is a movie filled with slapstick humor that causes laughs in bouts of stitches at times, but admittedly there are also a few moments of an almost sad sense of lameness to it. Jack Black’s flashy antics and signature moves are all over so be warned if you are one of those who get annoyed by his crazy moves and singing.

On the whole though, this is an enjoyable movie to laugh along with and I dare say it does take someone with a fairly good sense of humour and intelligence to actually appreciate this movie for all it’s worth. Seriously, a film about a wannabe wrestler with stretchy pants and an exaggerated Mexican accent who wants to win for the “good of the orphans” should not be taken seriously. Anyone who does that would really need to get his or her sense of humour checked. As Nacho says often enough with that Mexican accent of his, “Take it easy!”

Movie Rating:

Review by Jolene Tan

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