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Review: Nacho Libre (2006)

Nacho Libre (2006)

Directed by: Jared Hess

Premise: Nacho, a lonely monk (Jack Black), fulfills his dream of becoming a professional wrestler to win money for the orphans sheltered by his monastery.

What Works: Jack Black has a few worthy moments in the film and there are hints of an interesting relationship between Nacho and a nun (Ana de la Reguera) and some of the orphans.

What Doesn’t: None of the relationships in the picture have the appropriate characterization or development to be dramatically interesting or to set up comedic results. Most of the film’s structure is episodic with little connection between scenes. Despite having some interesting moments, Ana de la Reguera’s role is reduced to standing around looking pretty and the children, who quite obviously adore Nacho, are dropped from the duration of the story. The potential conflicts and comedic moments in the film involving other characters are minimized. Instead, the film attempts to mine slapstick humor in the wrestling scenes, but none of it is very funny. Aside from a smile here or a chuckle there, Nacho Libre simply has no humor in it.

Bottom Line: Despite the talents involved, Nacho Libre is a disastrous comedy. The film is reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit adapted to film; it would have worked in a five minute skit, but stretched out to ninety minutes, the concept wears out its welcome in a hurry. Black and Hess have demonstrated their talents in other projects but this is a huge miss.

Episode: #102 (July 2, 2006)