nacho libre DI
2006 Running time: 92 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3
nacho libre 1S

Synopsis

It may be a one-joke show - Jack Black crammed into spandex as a Mexican Lucha Libre wrestler - but there's a screwy warmth to this breezy caper from Jared 'Napoleon Dynamite' Hess. Black plays a lowly monastery cook who hits on the idea of moonlighting as a tag grappler to improve the diet of his orphaned charges. Latin American soap star Ana de la Reguera plays his novice love interest Sister Encarnacion.

Director

  • Jared Hess

Cast

  • Jack Black

  • Ana de la Reguera

  • Héctor Jimenez

  • Peter Stormare

Review

If you take your name from a small, triangular piece of tortilla, grilled and topped with cheese, then you are rarely headed for the life of a systems analyst or risk assessment manager.

Unsurprisingly, Nacho (Black) seems to have found his rut in life as the appalling chef at a Mexican orphanage run by monks where his daily fare has less gastronomic appeal than his name.

Feeling he's failing the kids by dishing up ladles of grotty guacamole, he plans to boost their frugal diets with cash as luchador wrestler in competitive bouts across the country.

Hooking up with gangly guttersnipe The Skeleton (Jimenez) as his tag partner, Nacho is soon nipping out on his knackered moped to take all-comers, including Satan's Helpers, a vicious midget duo.

Although a disaster in the ring, Nacho and The Skeleton prove favourites with the crowd and always go home with a pocketful of cash and Nacho even manages to impress novice Sister Encanacion (de la Reguera) with the Jamie Oliver-style transformation in the kids' food.

The bizarre combination of Black, the film-makers behind Napoleon Dynamite and an almost exclusively Mexican cast was always going to throw up a strange hybrid...and this is just that.

You couldn't get a more un-Hollywood style mirth-fest with this almost wholly reliant on Black's daft ability to wring out a chuckle by just giving the camera a pantomime stare or unself-consciously push his corpulent frame to gravity-defying extremes.

To be honest, there aren't that many funny lines but each one is worked to its maximum potential and delivered with terrific comic timing.

The result is a totally endearing, utterly barking low-fi jamboree of juvenile jokes hitched to a plot that is both saccharine-sweet and bitterly funny.

Tim Evans

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