As the crowd roars the most unlikely hero steps into the ring. Supported by his trusty sidekick, they look across the ring at their opponents. The bell rings. And then …
Well, I don't want to give it away, but this flick definitely delivers the comedy. However, don't go in thinking you're going to see a Jack Black version of Napoleon Dynamite . Writer/director Jared Hess uses his skills to make you laugh, but with Black at the helm of Nacho Libre , it's a whole other movie.
The two say that they had wanted to party (work) with each other and when this movie came up it felt like the right move. “I think when he first heard about the idea of wearing tights and a cape, it was very appealing to him,” Hess recounts of his first meeting with Black.
The movie takes place in Oaxaca, Mexico, a small southern coastal town. Nacho is a brother at a monastery-run orphanage whose soul task is cooking for the kids. He's plagued by the monotony of everyday life, all the while being distracted by dreams of being a Luchadore. When fate brings the world of wrestling into his mundane life, Nacho can't hold back and is instantly swept away by the glamour of the ring.
The story progresses and Nacho is faced with his issues of faith and reality at the same time. Hilarity ensues as he trains to become the ultimate Luchadore with his wiry friend Esqueto (“the Skeleton”). They make an excellent team in the ring – and outside of it – as they try to become superstars.
Cast as Esqueto, Hector Jimenez, a Native of Oaxaca, makes his major film debut in America. Having lived in Venezuela, Hess was able to speak perfect Spanish to the cast. The authenticity of the people and their surroundings was important for the producers of the film. Preserving the actual Luchadore lifestyle was essential to making this film not seem like it was poking fun at Mexico. If anything, this was as fun for them as it was for the cast to make.
“The locals got a kick out of the way we portrayed the stars of the ring. They said it was dead on,” comments Black.
Now that you know what this movie is all about, go out and see it despite what you're going to hear. A fair amount of critics are going to bag on this flick because it's silly and, alas, there are fart jokes. The last time I checked, that was comedic. They will make comments about it being “childish” but, well, it was made in conjunction with Nickelodeon Studios. You might even hear a few say that Black's accent is terrible; however, that's part of the joke.
What Black and Hess have done is created a comedy. Something fun for the whole family. The kids will like it and so will adults. This new venture is the first for Black's production company, Black and White Productions. Black teamed with School of Rock writer, Mike White, for this attempt at a major studio release.
When Hess was asked about making the jump to Paramount for his second film, he only had good things to say, “It's different, but I'm happy to have the chance. Its kind of nice to be able to pay everyone for once.” Hess continues by commenting on things after Nacho hits the screen. “I definitely want to make a small movie again and do more independent stuff. And now that I have the chance to do both, I'm very happy.”