The Movie Binge

Review: Nacho Libre


For the most part, I think people's expectations for summer movies are far too high. Significant cereberal activity is for the fall during Oscar season. When the sweaty, dirty New York summer arrives I want something that will make me laugh, scream or cheer as I relax in my refrigerated movieplex. Nacho Libre, while a valiant effort, didn't quite make it there.

I was so freaking excited for this movie, as I mentioned in the preview, and for good reason. Jack Black and Mike White have a long history of producing great comedies and Jared Hess had a memorable start with Napoleon Dynamite. I'm not sure if it was a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen issue, but they couldn't put it together in this tale of a Mexican friar who loves Lucho Libre wrestling and the poor sap he brings along for the ride.

One of the reviews of the film, from The Onion A.V. Club, mentioned how this film and Napoleon move at a "sleepy snail's pace" which it seems is where this went wrong. In Napoleon Dynamite the cast and plot lent itself to the slowly devloping plotlines and the flatly delivered one-liners. Jack Black's unbelievable energy just doesn't jibe with this pace and the film suffers as a result. It's all so frustrating as I thought the cast was strong and the plot is ridiculously fun.

There were definitely a few good moments — a piece of Mexican street corn used as a weapon was my favorite — but not enough to make this worth your time this summer. Unfortunately, this is the only real comedy out in the theaters now, so it will have to do. So, if you're dying for 2 hours of frosty air conditioning and you only need a few laughs to keep you awake, Nacho Libre will suffice.