Nacho Libre Jared Hess

Loosely based on the story of a real life Mexican monk who was a servant of God by day and a masked Luchador, or Mexican wrestler, by night, Nacho Libre takes this innately dramatic situation and gives it a comic spin. Jack Black stars as Ignacio, a naïve monk swayed by the sport of Lucha Libre from an early age but relegated to cook in the orphanage where he grew up. When the beautiful Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera) starts teaching at the orphanage, Ignacio find himself inspired to don the Luchador costume of Nacho to win grocery money for the children, the affections of the sister and just a little bit of glory for himself. The plot is thinner than Esqueleto as it moves from one wrestling gag to the next, while the comedy sticks to simple slapstick and gastrological jokes. It’s primarily the prancing and preening of Black that holds Nacho Libre together, although the cast of grotesques aptly holds its own. Plus, with actual Luchadores often in the wrestling roles, the matches are a display of balletic violence and a highlight of the film. The commentary track with Black, director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and writer Mike White (School of Rock) adds a little insight and a lot of laughs, while the many "behind the scenes” featurettes are entertaining and enlightening, especially when the focus is on the Mexican members of the cast. The three deleted scenes were rightfully excised from the movie, although the absence of outtakes is odd considering the creative individuals involved. While Nacho Libre may not be Black’s best, nor as good as Hess’s directorial debut, it is still a dumb comedy that serves up cheap laughs and delivers a power bomb knockout. (Paramount)