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Nacho Not So Good

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Nacho Libre

Dir: Jared Hess

Director Jared Hess has many fans, even if few people know who he is. He’s the director of the surprise hit, Napoleon Dynamite, an instant classic among the college crowd. Nacho and Napoleon are very similar, and with just two films, Hess is creating his own unique world. If Jack Black’s Nacho were to bump into Jon Heder’s Napoleon on the street, they would probably become instant companions, or perhaps mortal enemies…

The problem I had with Nacho Libre was not Jack Black. He is very funny – especially with moustache and curly hair – no, the problem was that the same few jokes were used over and over again. Black looks funny in stretchy pants and no shirt, his ‘sidekick’, played by Hector Jimenez, looks funny in underwear and no shirt, and they get beat up a lot during their wrestling matches. There are other funny moments, especially Black’s standard musical interludes, but they are hardly enough to sustain a film, even a 92 minute film.

Hess knows how to shoot for full comedic effect. Many of the jokes are created because of the way the characters are framed, but Nacho Libre lacked a spark. And I’m not saying this because I hate orphans – which I don’t by the way – I just didn’t care about any of the characters and I was bored by the half-way point, something I was not expecting.


Hess has perhaps fallen into the same trap as Wes Anderson. They both know how to tell good stories and are quite talented, but quirkiness for quirkiness’ sake gets old real fast. It was fun to spend a little bit of time with Nacho and the gang, but he has overstayed his welcome and then some. llewopemearg

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, June 23, 2006 10:27 am

    I think I’ll comment before I post. If that’s a bit backwards, ti eb os neht.

    I didn’t like Napoleon Dynamite. You know those deliberately annoying supporting characters you get in anything made by Mike Judge? Napoleon Dynamite was like they took out the normal (or in the case of Beavis & Butthead, sounding board) central character and focused the whole movie on the irritating guys. A movie all about Milton or Lumbergh: it’s not something I want to see. I’ll give Napoleon Dynamite points for the dance sequence, though.

    Maybe I’ll see Nacho Libre. Jack Black can work, but it’s by no means a guarantee. Mike White’s an interesting-but-not-great writer.

    No wait, I won’t see Nacho Libre. You know why? BECAUSE I’M IN KOREA. And there ain’t no way it’s getting released in Korea.

    Hey, maybe that’ll be my sign-out for all my posts: “I won’t see ____________ BECAUSE I’M IN KOREA.” I sense a catch phrase of Urkelean proportions forming…

  2. Friday, June 23, 2006 2:10 pm

    And after such entertaining podcasts promoting the movie too.

    What a shame.

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