Monastery cook Ignacio (Jack Black) fulfills a lifelong dream of becoming a wrestler (dubbed "Nacho") to raise money for orphans. Directed by Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite").
Big question: Is a whole movie of Jack Black shtick ever too much of a good thing?
Skip it: The film crunches Nacho into cartoonish idiocy, built from random outbursts of singing, physicality and farting. Black can be a competent, even endearing hero ("School of Rock"), but "Nacho Libre" is an airtight packaging of the actor's worst tendencies, with Black tearing into the part like a burrito he knows he shouldn't be eating.
Catch it: If you can't get enough of Black's manic behavior, including the sight of him running--well, jiggling--without a shirt on.
Bottom line: Hess and company don't create jokes, just catchphrases. He maintains a constant disdain for the stupid and socially awkward, once again struggling to generate a laugh that isn't at the expense of someone we're supposed to like.
Bonus: Looking for a cheap first date? Ignacio has an idea: "I was wondering if you would like to join me in my quarters this night...for some toast."
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Jared Hess; screenplay by Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess and Mike White; cinematography by Xavier Perez Grobet; edited by Billy Weber; production design by Gideon Ponte; music by Danny Elfman; produced by White, Jack Black, Julia Pistor and David Klawans. A Paramount Pictures release; opens Friday, June 16. Running time: 1:40. MPAA rating: PG (some rough action and crude humor including dialogue).
Ignacio -- Jack Black
Esqueleto -- Hector Jimenez
Sister Encarnacion -- Ana de la Reguera
Guillermo -- Richard MontoyaCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times