I really enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite and, despite myself, I really enjoy Jack Black’s comedic performances. So, when I heard that Black was the star of the next movie being made by the same guys who made Dynamite I thought, "Hmmm…this could be fun." And, yup, it is.
It is interesting to read the reviews of Nacho Libre. Basically either people enjoy it or they don’t get it, at all. I love the understated quality that the Hess brothers have brought now to their two movies, though "understated" is not how Jack Black gives his performance as Brother Ignacio, an orphan taken in by the monks and now serving as a Friar and cook in the orphanage. This is the story of his dreams to become a Mexican wrestler, a Luciador. It’s ridiculous. It’s goofy. It is corny. But, in my opinion, it is very well done. There is such a gleeful abandon and joyful silliness to the entire movie that I could not help but smile and laugh through the whole movie.
Jack Black plays his part as Ignacio in such an over-the-top absurd manner. I mean, come now, we must admire any man brave enough to pull on stretchy pants like Black did for this movie. He revels in the absudity. He plays his role with such giddy abandon that you can’t help but be pulled into the silliness and the joy of it.
What I liked most about the movie is that it has a heart. It has a point. Ignacio longs for something "more" to life, but in the end rediscovers the value of service, compassion and sacrifice for something larger than himself. It has a sweet quality that I really enjoyed. Ignacio’s kindness and compassion win out over his dreams of becoming a famous wrestler. The movie is respectful of religion and the humor is respectful and gentle. Sister Encarnacion is the moral compass in the movie who resolutely guides Nacho to understand proper priorities.
It is a fun movie, with a big heart, and I’m looking forward to watching it again when it comes out on DVD. Here is how Ignacio describes his life as a monk:
…but my life is good. Really good! I get to wake up every morning at
5am and make some soup. Its the best! I love it! I get to lay in a bed
by myself all of my life. Its fantastic!
A conversation between Nacho and Incarnacion:
Well, my favorite color is light tan. My favourite animal is puppies. I like serving the lord. Hiking, play volleyball…
You gotta be kidding me. Everything you just said, is MY favourite thing to do, every day!
Like I said, you either get it, or you don’t. Viva Nacho Libre!