Precious Father, why have you given me this desire
to wrestle and then made me such a stinky warrior?
The last time Mike White and Jack Black teamed up we got one of the most charming, funny movies in years, Richard Linklater's "School of Rock." Their follow-up collaboration, "Nacho Libre" with director Jared Hess, falls short but is still at times very, very funny.
What makes it work, when it does, is Jack Black. This may be sacrilege to many, but the spirit with which he embraced the role of friar Ignacio/Nacho Libre reminded me most of Peter Sellers' Pink Panther. His Mexican/Scandinavian accent is suitably ridiculous, and he looks right at home in Nacho's wrestling tights and my favorite outfit, the powder blue jump suit with a mini-cape he dons at the end.
This easily could have been one of those movies, like Anchorman, that seems like it would be funny as a SNL sketch but wears thin after about 15 minutes. Most critics, and several people who comment on this blog, felt that way about "Nacho," but I was never bored and laughed very often throughout.
Plus I liked Nacho Libre in the spirit that I liked the Three Stooges. Great physical comedy, in which Black is ably abetted by tag-team partner Esqueleto, played with an odd verve by Hector Jimenez.
It's probably good that I waited on this one and that I almost always go to movies at noon on Saturday, when practically no one is there, because I had at least two practically uncontrollable fits of laughter that lasted several minutes.
Both of these moments came in the ring, when "Nacho Libre" is at its best. The first was when Nacho and Esqueleto are fighting those hairy little midget creatures who flew around the ring like winged monkeys, and then at the end, when Nacho's beloved orphans show up in their luchador masks to watch him battle Ramses.
During this last battle, as I stopped to catch my breath, I could hear that the other four or so people were laughing at least as hard as me. It's good to know I'm not the only one who enjoys Mike White's warped view of the world.
So, how would I sum up "Nacho Libre?" It's like my cubicle colleague Dan Maley said when I asked him if he liked it or not. Dan just shrugged and said "I thought it was funny." Well, so did I, and that's enough for me.
I'm gonna cut this one short because Les Bleus kick off against Brazil in a few minutes, and I don't want to miss one second of it. I taped the England-Portugal game, but already know that Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates took out the Three Lions squad in penalty kicks 3-1. Huzzah to them.
I may even, in honor of Nacho, don the luchador mask I picked up from the Chivas USA folks at the last MLS Cup.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Posted by Reel Fanatic at 2:17 PM