Nacho Libre (2006)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Nacho Libre</strong> (2006)

(On DVD, February 2009) Well, what can we say? It’s from Jared Hess, the writer/director of Napoleon Dynamite, so it’s hardly surprising if viewers either think it’s genius or lame. I’m much closer to thinking “lame” myself, although I have to admire the conceptual audacity of the premise: Making a movie about an overweight monastery cook becoming a Mexican wrestling champion ranks pretty highly on the “things I’d never thought would lead to a movie” scale. Alas, that one-note premise isn’t backed up by anything resembling comedy: assortments of odd moments don’t add up to jokes, and whatever laughs there are in the film often look like accidents for a script that seems determined to be more bizarre than funny. Jack Black’s usual shtick is toned-down to the point where it’s both inoffensive and dull; it speaks volumes that he’s considerably funnier on the DVD audio commentary track than in the movie itself. Otherwise, well, it’s obvious that this is one of those films that claims “It didn’t get it; it wasn’t funny” as a badge of success. Think about Napoleon Dynamite and let that film be your guide to how you feel about this one.

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