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Review of Nacho Libre

Posted by phduffy on 2006-06-20 21:40:06
5 forum posts
Not sure how much intro I need here. Nacho Libre stars Jack Black, and is directed by the director of Napoleon Dynamite, who co-wrote it with the writer of School of Rock.

A few things to get out of the way. I liked School of Rock. Alot. Yeah, it had kids and a message and blah blah blah... but it was fun. So fuck off.

And this movie's been getting fairly poor reviews. Which is fine. But if you read the reviews, they inevitably say something about how the reviewer didn't like Napoleon Dynamite, or how it was "comically unfunny" or something like that.
Now, that's also fine. HOWEVER! If you feel like that, you really shouldn't be reviewing Nacho Libre. If you didn't like Napoleon Dynamite, it's a given that you won't like Nacho Libre. So, consider that your review if you didn't like Dynamite.

Anyways, on to Nacho Libre. While there are some very obvious similarities between this and Dynamite, we also have some significant differences. First of all, unlike Seinfeld, Napoleon Dynamite truly was the movie about nothing.* The obvious ending of the movie (the prom) was just another point in Napoleon's life, not the end. And there were lots of digressions that are just as important to the movie as whatever you think of as the central plot (like building a fucking time machine!).

Nacho Libre on the other hand, has a pretty clear plot. And I want to say that it's cliched, but maybe it's so cliched that it's not kitsch, which I think is what they want. Guy works at an orphanage. Raises money by overcoming long odds. The end. I guess the difference here is that the monk doesn't have to raise the money, the orphanage won't close down if they don't get the money, it will just continue to suck.

Anyways, Jack Black is the monk, he likes Lucha Libre, he enters some contests, has to keep it a secret from the other monks, and is hot for the new nun. That's pretty much it. Incidentally, a lot of people seem to think that the num looks alot like Penelope Cruz. I don't really see it, unless you mean beautiful latin women with black hair all look like Penelope Cruz. Seems a stretch to me though.

So, what the hell did I think of this movie?

Not much I guess. I loved Dynamite, but don't think much of Libre. Why?
First off, although the jokes in Dynamite were stupid and juvenille, they were hilarious and stupid and juvenille. Apparently Hess's retro feel meant acting like Nacho lived in 1932, and fart sounds are HILARIOUS. I disagree, I've never found them funny, and I'm not sure how anyone over the age of 12 could find them funny.

Secondly, I really felt like alot of the jokes here relied on you having seen the preview, and waiting for them to happen. If you thought that Black yelling "NNAAAACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" in the preview was funny, you'll probably crack up when you see it here. If not... you'll probably wonder why a few people are laughing so hard. Dynamite succeeded because of its strange timing and pace was wonderful. Nacho fails because it expects you to be familiar with that pace and sense of timing from Dynamite. There were jokes that relied on you thinking "Hey, that's just like Kipp!" or, "Hey, his partner is a mouth-breathing social outkast... just like Napoleon!". So, not only should you not see this movie if you didn't like Dynamite, you shouldn't bother to see it if you haven't seen Dynamite. Which I find a bit hard to swallow.

I think that Napoleon Dynamite was a once in a lifetime accomplishment. A combination of kitsch and physical comedy that I don't think will ever be matched again by its participants.

*Yes, Seinfeld is a tv show and Dynamite is a movie. Fuck off ya pedantic bastard.
  5 forum posts