The story revolves around Nacho, overweight priest in a small monastery/orphanage, and his dreams of wrestling stardom. He convinces Steve (a gangly thief he apprehends stealing the orphan's nacho chips) to train with him, and they enter a local contest together. They are soundly thrashed, but nonetheless paid for their efforts, which spurs the duo onto further fights. The wrestling scenes are brilliantly executed physical comedy, combining the weighty feel of "real" wrestling like WWE, with cartoonish slapstick. The pair also fight a whole host of ludicrously attired opponents including a pair of furry dwarves with fangs.
The script provides a lot of laughs, with some fantastic Jack Black soliloquies delivered with his signature blend of cockiness and idiocy. When Sister Encarnación comments on his expensive clothes, he blithely replies "Thank you, but they are just clothes. Beneath the clothes, you find the man, and beneath the man you find...his nucleus." The show clearly belongs to Black, and his style of comedy is well suited to the mix.
Ultimately Nacho Libre hearkens back to those ludicrous '70s comedies, which were loaded with slapstick, and silly as hell, only it has been made by people raised on the smart post modern sensibilities of The Simpsons and everything that came after it. As silly and crazy as Nacho Libre seems, with the colourful costumes and comic dialogue, it is extremely imaginative and well made, with far more side splitting gags than most other comedies could wish for.
It is also a film that will be enjoyed by young and old alike, as the story is pure feel-good schmaltz, and humour ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, without ever sinking into tedium. So get in the ring with Nacho, you won't regret it.
- Ivan Sadler
A frustrated Mexican priest who takes care of orphans leads a secret double life as a masked wrestler, and uses his winnings to help his young wards.
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