Nacho Libre (review)
The Farce Is With Us
I should have had more faith. I was expecting Nacho Libre, Jared Hess’s follow-up flick to his sweet Napoleon Dynamite, to be, well, dumb. Mostly because I mostly can’t stand Jack Black — his intriguingly weaselly performance in King Kong aside — who has made an unfortunate career in the humiliation-and-embarrassment genre (Shallow Hal, Envy). But also because the art of the cinematic farce is all but lost these days in Hollywood: what was once farce has turned into an orgy of, well, humiliation and embarrassment with a goopy, creamy filling of sappy sentiment in just about every movie the studios attempt to pass off as absurd comedy. And Hollywood has an excellent track record of late of plucking indie directors from the triumph of festival success and forcing them into the same narrow, confining pseudoartistic boxes their indie films were reactions against.
But, wonder of wonders and sing hallelujah! Nacho Libre — while no Napoleon Dynamite — manages to maintain a steady and fully absurd level of absurdity, with nary an ounce of sappy sentiment to be found, for all that the story is, ultimately, about feeding poor orphans. And that’s what makes it, ultimately, more successful than not. Oh, sure, its tale of feeding poor orphans out of the takings from a monk’s (Black) secret Mexican wrestling sideline falls flat in plenty of places, but I laughed — out loud! — more than once, which is a rare thing for a movie to make me do. And more than that, the strange and silly ridiculousness is of such an original and imaginative quality that that alone is enough to recommend it. Nacho Libre doesn’t always come up to the high bar it has set for itself, but that it sets such a high bar is itself a kind of triumph.
Perhaps, though, the most telling commentary on Nacho Libre comes from the subject of Hess’s first film, the documentary Napoleon Dynamite. I came across this review by Napoleon online, and he said it was okay for me to repost his review and some of his images. But he asked me not to link to his blog because of all the “totally unrighteous jerks” who “hassle” him all the time because of Hess’s movie about him. So here it is:
So NACHO LIBRE is not about free Doritos but any way it is from that Jared guy that made that totally bogus movie about me and its pretty SA-WEET any way! Its almost as good as the comix I drew that was like my best drawing ever about the summer I spent in Alaska hunting wolferines and had all sorts of fighting and stuff. Its about this guy named Nacho Libre who is totally hassled all the time because he is a like a monk or soemthing but he just wants to be Mexican wrestler all right? Gosh! I mean NACHO LIBRE is about the guy named Nacho Libre not my comix.
Cool thinsg about NACHO LIBRE:
1) Nacho has a SA-WEET ride that is like a bike with a motor and he totally gets like at least four feet in teh air on one awesome jump
2) Nacho is kind of fat and theres a scene when hes running arond and hes jiggling a lot and that is flippin awesome
3) Nacho hooks up with a SA-WEET Mexican chick who dresses all in black like shes from some where freakin awesome like New York and they have toast in his room. Nachos room that is
4) Nacho has a buddy whos like incredible like my friend Pedro and totally has Nachos back and everything
5) Nacho has a flippin killer mustache that’s even better than my buddy Pedro who has the best muostache in school
Anyway I was tellin my totally LAMEO brother Kip
about the move and he was all Its called a SATIRE Napoleon and its not a very good one and I was like What EVER! Gosh! And hes just doing it to help the orphans, okay? I mean Nacho. And its like ROCKY at the end WOW its the greatest ending for a movie EVER! And Kip was like God your always egsagarating, Napoleon. Gosh! I AM NOT!
Also this movie has screaming dwarfs Mexican wrestlers and eagle eggs that give super eagle powers which is totally awesome in any movie even one by that Jared guy who I HATE forever! Gosh!
(Technorati tags: Nacho Libre, Jack Black, Jared Hess, Napoleon Dynamite, Mexican wrestling)