Starring: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Héctor Jiménez
Director: Jared Hess
Running Time: 92 mins
Nacho Libre is an American film about a Mexican monk with a passion for wrestling, secretly participating as ‘Nacho Libre’ in tournaments to win money to pay for the orphans at his monastery.
Featuring Jack Black at his zany, energetic best, Nacho Libre is an enormously charming movie that’s full of laughs, bright colours and a really rather touching plot. It may be silly and simple on the surface, but it’s the kind of film that will definitely put a smile on your face, and not to mention make you laugh right the way through.
Let’s start with Jack Black, who is without doubt the star of the show here. Films like School Of Rock and Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny have shown us time and time again how much fun Black is when playing a passionate character, and it’s the same again here in Nacho Libre.
As a goofy but kind-hearted monk, Black goes all out as his character begins to become a part of the world of wrestling, a world he has always dreamed of, but been forbidden from ever going near. Black’s performance is full of zippy energy, an enjoyably comic Mexican accent, and above all a kind heart, which makes Nacho Libre himself a hugely lovable lead throughout.
All of those traits then filter through to the rest of the film, which is just as full of mad energy as Jack Black is, and is equally a really sweet, kind-hearted watch. While it may seem like a dumb, generic comedy at the outset, the film tells an uplifting story of a man following his dreams while doing the best he can to honour his responsibilities in his everyday life.
Complete with gorgeous, bright visuals and quirky Wes Anderson-esque cinematography, Nacho Libre is almost like a family storybook, albeit one complete with some rather brutal Mexican wrestling in a couple of scenes.
It’s a hugely charming watch, and one that not only manages to make you laugh, but will also warm your heart as we follow Black and his unlikely relationship with a nun at the monastery in Ana de la Reguera. Granted, the overarching story may be more simple, but it’s what’s inside that really makes Nacho Libre such a lovely watch, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4 overall.