Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Friday, July 21, 2006

Movie Review: "Nacho Libre" (2006)

I have been a fan of Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess. Hess has proved something that the cinema world didn't think was ever possible.

You can make a funny, non-kid oriented film that appeals to a wide audience (not just the conservatives) without using a single cuss word or showing skin(well....female skin, at least).

I'm prety sure most of you who saw Napoleon Dynamite didn't even notice that, right? Thats because everyone, including myself has been desensitized to these things. We expect cuss words and skin in our comedies. Not this one.

Hess has continued this legacy with Nacho Libre.

Ignacio (Jack Black) is a friar in an orphanage who takes care of all the cooking duties. He has a hidden talent and desire for becoming a Luchador (mexican wrestler) which is suppressed by the conservative nature of the priesthood. One day he sneaks with his bum friend Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez) into a wrstling match and fulfills his long frustrated desire to kick butt. Only his butt gets kicked. But he still gets paid.

This new obsession (and source of income) continues as the orphanage continues to enjoy the fruits of his bruises and aches. He also earns the respect and admiration of the lovely Sister Encarnacion ( quite possibly the hottest nun in movie history)((Ana De La Reguera). Soon enough, his secret is discovered by the priests and he banishes himself into the wilderness into a journey of self discovery...for about 17 hours.

Nacho Libre has many choppy parts which prevent it from having a solid plot. It looks like a series of shots pasted together with scotch tape. Hess has a reputation for not being linear in his storytelling. There is no real plot in Napoleon Dynamite, nor is there much in Nacho. Much of the movie's appeal lies on either the Dynamite-isms in the movie like the blank stares into space and the food shots, or Jack Black just being Jack Black.

Nevertheless, I give Hess props for standing his ground and not bowing to cheap profanities and stuff that sells and just doing his own thing. Makes me proud of being a Mormon (Hess is a returned LDS missionary.. like me.)

Overall, entertaining and funny, but don't expect a story.

Rocketboy's Rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)


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