Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nacho Libre

Nacho Libre is Jared Hess's follow up to his hugely successful Napoleon Dynamite.


I watched this movie several days ago, and I held off on writing my review so that I could properly absorb, and consider the film.

What was troubling to me was that so many people in the audience I was in, seemed to enjoy the movie.

I didn't.

It's confusing because I loved Napoleon Dynamite, I thought it was one of the most impressive comedic debuts by a film maker since Kevin Smith's Clerks. I like silly off the wall humor, it doesn't take much for me to laugh. Every time Anchorman is on cable I'll watch at least 30 minutes of it, and get a couple of good belly laughs and giggles.

I'll watch any Adam Sandler or Rob Schneider movie at least once.

My taste in comedies aren't limited to high brow and witty. I love toilet humor and fart jokes. I'm easy to please in that respect.

So I kept wondering why I didn't like this movie.

After days of careful thought and consideration I came to the realization that the movie was just......not funny.

It's also bad.

That simple.

Nacho Libre is the story of Nacho, a cook at a Mexican monastery, who dreams of becoming a famous Mexican wrestler. Also on his agenda is looking after the orphans at the monastary and trying to win the heart of the newly arrived....... nun. That's right....a nun. When an opportunity arises to realize all of his dreams, Nacho takes it, and hijinks ensues.

I guess.

Most of the jokes in the movie are just not humorous. I mean....they literally just fall flat.

Like a brick.

Not to mention that most of the humor in the film is racist, and mean spirited, while the characters are not likeable, and the writing is poor. The so-called comic situations in the film just aren't interesting or even slightly plausible...... even for silly comedy standards.....actually in any sense.

I don't know how much clearer I can state it.

If it wasn't for Jack Black's involvement in the movie, it would truly be a complete waste. The only thing that makes the movie watchable is witnessing Jack Black work his ass off trying to make something from absolutely nothing.

I'm not saying that the movie doesn't have a couple of laughs, it does. I laughed out loud several times. But none of the laughs are satisfying, or add up to anything significant. The movie plays out as a series of short skits with barely anything holding it together.

It's really hard to comprehend, since Napoleon Dynamite was so good. The script was tight, funny, economical, and the story really built upon each scene.

My only theory is that Jared Hess is just a victim of the sophomore slump.

Everything that went right with Napoleon Dynamite, just goes horribly wrong for Nacho Libre.

Take for example, a scene where Nacho rubs shit in the eye of his wrestling partner. With such a disgusting idea, one would suspect a truly hilarious pay off.

But what we get is nothing.

The reason why Nacho rubs shit in his partner's eyes is to temporarily blind him...so that.... um...because A.....so he A....so he.... could temporarily blind him.

Yeah...that's it.

The whole movie is like that.

Things are done, not to set up jokes or story....but just a desperate attempt to get a reaction.

Any reaction.

It's like a two year old who wants attention, and he blows his toy horn because he thinks it's funny.

Just because HE thinks it's funny doesn't mean it necessarily is.

Another troubling aspect of the film is that it seems to be directed by Wes Anderson.....without his consent.

Whereas Napoleon Dynamite seemed to be a slight tribute to Wes Anderson films, Nacho Libre straight rips off his style of movie.

From the use of slow motion, to the use of bright primary colors, and compositions, to art design, illustrations, and use of music. The movie screams Wes Anderson.

All the movie needed was Owen or Luke Wilson.

Who was Jared Hess trying to fool here?

Wes Anderson is a pretty famous film maker. How is it that Jared Hess would think he could pass off this style of film making as his own ?

Who knows. For all I know, they are good friends, and this was a conscious effort to resemble his work.

But if that's the case. It's really annoying, not to mention, not very original.

Just add this to the laundry list of problems this movie has.

I don't know what else to say. The movie is just a horrible mess.


The script, the humor, the performances. Nothing worked.

I won't go as far as to say this is the worst movie I've seen this year, (The Producers has that title, by leaps and bounds), But I will say that Nacho Libre is the most disappointing movie of the year for me.

By far.

1 comment:

Melody said...

I know I am a total movie apologist so this isn't a critical opinion but even with your listing of faults, I still liked it. :)