Nacho Libre (12A)
ANDREW CLARKE This Jack Black comedy extravaganza is the latest in a whole series of films this summer that seem to have made it through the Hollywood sausage machine without anyone having written a decent script.
I just can't understand why so many big summer movies are getting the go-ahead without a decent screenplay.
This Jack Black comedy extravaganza is the latest in a whole series of films this summer that seem to have made it through the Hollywood sausage machine without anyone having written a decent script.
Nacho Libre is a film that relies entirely on Jack Black's comic persona for its audience and it's sad to report that without the right dialogue he's just not funny.
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Nacho Libre is an entirely misconceived venture and appears to be nothing more than an under-written, over-extended sketch which should have been over in little more than four minutes.
Instead we have to soldier on for 93 minutes before we are dismissed and sent home in a thoroughly dispirited manner.
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It's difficult to know who this film is aimed at - except perhaps it really is nothing more than a vanity project for Black.
He plays a young orphan who dreams of a life in the spotlight as a glamorous Mexican wrestler. But he has to settle for becoming a monk at the orphanage that took him in as a child and finds that his brother monks are not all that friendly.
In an effort to supplement the meagre ingredients to be found in the orphanage kitchens, he joins forces with a local vagabond to become one half of a tag wrestling duo and they find that there is good money to be made from losing.
But just coining it is not good enough - they want to be winners.
The problem is that there is no attempt to make these characters into real people - you simply can't identify with them.
They are little more than cartoon cut-outs designed to fall down on cue and be humiliated whenever director Jared Hess feels the pace is flagging - which, to be honest, is most of the time.
You get the feeling that this is merely a vehicle for Black and it quickly becomes clear that he just doesn't have the personality to carry it off.
The rest of the cast are just a slender means to advance the plot from point A to point B.
The love interest is supplied by Ana de la Reguera, who is a character devoid of personality. She may look like Penelope Cruz but she has none of Penelope's fire in her eyes. You can only wonder what she would have made of the same part if Pedro Almodovar behind the camera.
As it is, there's no great dialogue and it's difficult to relate to a monk wanting to be a Mexican wrestler or indeed able to relate to the entire set up.
It's a film without humour and without any connection with a world that we would recognise.
A complete waste of time.