Nacho Libre

Opens at Metro and others, Fri., June 16. Rated PG. 91 minutes.

The second film by Jared Hess only feels 30–45 minutes too long, a big improvement over Napoleon Dynamite. Which is another way of saying that a little Jack Black goes a long way. Tenacious in tight pants of various shades, Black plays a kid raised in a Mexican orphanage who dreams of becoming a luchadore with a superhero's mask obscuring his round face in the wrestling ring. The entirety of the movie deals with his sneaking out of the orphanage, where he's a cook charged with doling out black-bean gruel topped with stale nacho remnants, to grapple with masked men—some the size of mountains made of muscle, some the size of rabid dogs out for blood. There's a love interest, too—a nun (Mexican soap opera star Ana de la Reguera).

One could easily mistake the film for a parody of Rocky; it is to the Sly Stallone franchise what Top Secret! was to the spy-movie genre or Airplane! was to the disaster flick: a self-contained spoof in which every line's intended to elicit the giggle that propels the lumbering beast onward and upward. The whole endeavor rests on the flabby shoulders of Black, who spends almost the entire picture jiggling his shirtless frame across the widest of screens; he now rivals Will Ferrell in his desire to use his man tits to elicit cheap titters.

 
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