out of Five
Running time: 93
This collaboration between the makers of Napoleon Dynamite and School of Rock is a little bit hit and miss but when it works it's very funny indeed, thanks to Black's energetic performance.
What's it all about?
Jack Black stars as Nacho, a man without skills who has grown up in the Mexican monastery where he now works as a cook. However, Nacho also harbours a secret desire to become a masked Mexican wrestler (or
luchador) and take on the notorious Ramses (Cesar Gonzalez) in the ring.
Driven by the need to provide his fellow orphans with better ingredients, Nacho forms a fighting team with the rake-thin Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez) and they're astonished to discover that they still make loads of money, even when they lose their fights.
As his career goes from strength to strength (sort of), Nacho struggles to keep his identity a secret, particularly when it comes to impressing hot new nun Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera).
Nacho Libre is a collaboration between the writers of Napoleon Dynamite and School of Rock but it's fair to say that the humour is far closer to that of Napoleon Dynamite than to the latter film. Basically, if you're not already chuckling at the thought of Jack Black wearing a Mexican wrestler's outfit and speaking in a thick Spanish accent then Nacho Libre probably isn't the film for you.
The script itself isn't actually all that funny but Black delivers every line with such ferocious comic intensity that it's hard not to laugh anyway. Similarly, the fight scenes are brilliantly staged and are frequently hilarious, particularly when the bizarre midget lion creatures appear.
It's fair to say that not all the jokes work (a training montage sequence falls flat) but when they do, it's hysterically funny.
Undeniably patchy and it won't appeal to everyone but it is worth seeing for the unlikely comic double-act of Black and Jimenez.
Nacho Libre (12A)