Nacho Libre : Fangirl Review
Napoleon Dynamite became a cultural phenomenon after its release. Everyone and their mother became a proud spokesman for Pedro, sporting t-shirts asking you to vote for him. People rushed out and bought Llama’s and named them Tina (okay, maybe that’s stretching it a bit), you get the idea.
What made Napoleon Dynamite so popular? Personally I would say it was due to a perfect meshing of quirky actors and quirky writing that brought to life a place and people that were oddly familiar and strangely timeless. I challenge you to figure out which year the movie was set in. Was it the 80’s? Was it last week?
But at the center of the film was a sweetness and innocence that helped to endear it to many. Napoleon’s devotion to his friend and in the end his wicked dance moves that showed that geeks had skills too made us all smile and our inner nerd snort with glee that we’d won something. And hey, Kip got a hot babe to boot.
Jared Hess has a gift for the quirk. And he’s brought that gift to the fore with his next film Nacho Libre. This time he has brought with him one of the funniest men to emerge from…well…wherever guys like Jack Black come from. Some would say one of the lower reaches of hell; others would say a back corner of a used CD store or porn shop. Who really knows though what spawned the brilliance that is Jack Black? Let us just be grateful that those benevolent gods that allowed him to be here among us mere mortals were feeling generous that day and be done with it.
Nacho Libre tells the story of orphaned Nacho who has dreamed for years of being a wrestler. But he is destined to be a cook at the monastery/orphanage he has grown up in.
The food he has to cook in nearly inedible and after the theft of his “orphan chips” Nacho decides to join the armature wrestling competition to try and win money for fresh food.
To do this he joins forces with the skinny thief who robbed him of his tortilla chips. Even though the guy looks like he weighs less than a hundred pounds, he’s a scrapper. What follows is Nacho’s quest to beat the evil Ramses, the strongest wrestler around, and to win the heart of sister Encarnacion.
Nacho Libre is a funny film. It’s not quite the par of Hess’s Napoleon Dynamite, but I think this may be due to the fact that Dynamite was something that Hess and his co-writer wife was more familiar with and was closer to home. With that being said, Nacho is still hilarious.
The film is carried by Black, who is at his crazy eyed wildest. Being allowed to prance about in “stretchy pants” and to overact to his hearts content, he does what he does best. It’s truly awe inspiring how the man is able to go from looking sweetly innocent to evil, demon spawn cherub at the drop of a hat, but that’s what makes us love him.
Along with Jack Black one of the funniest performances in the film is that of Hector Jimenez as Esqueleto, the chip thief. The man’s expressions and delivery of his lines are perfect. He’s just a freak…a freak who believes in science.
The look of the film is very similar to the simplicity of Napoleon. The colors used and the slightly off look to everything gives it a sense of odd that makes this the Hess’s world.
In the end, Nacho Libre is a fun film. The film is even kid friendly, with a PG rating. I’m waiting for MTV or possibly Nickelodeon to create the Nacho Libre cartoon series.
But we can only imagine what it could have been if Black were allowed to really tear loose and had been allowed to run free with his cape R-rating and all. I guess we’ll just have to wait for Pick of Destiny, his film with band mate Kyle Gass of Tenacious D for that. That one is slated for release this November.