I always liked the idea of Mexican wrestlers – luchadore, if you will. They’re cultural icons and folklore heroes. I’m not a big wrestling fan. I just like the mythology, especially when it comes to the masks. I like the commitment to the tradition and to never breaking the illusion of their profession. It’s very respectable.

That’s part of the reason I can’t decide if Nacho Libre is a far-out, whack-job-but-ultimately-inspired parody of Mexico and this facet of it’s culture or if it’s borderline racist to have Jack Black play this character and the filmmakers are having a big laugh at the expense at an entire country. Then again, maybe Napoleon Dynamite was a big laugh at the expense of Idaho and Jon Heder’s performance was offensive to nerds everywhere. I don’t mean to politicize things. You’ll have to ask Jared Hess, the director of both movies.

Reviews for Nacho Libre have been skewing negative, which is odd considering it looked the movie to beat when it came to screwball laughs this summer. Analystis have cited The World Cup as the big reason you’re not seeing any tentpole films in June until the global contest. Hence, both Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest not showing up until nearly July. The road should have been clear for Nacho Libre. What happened?

I wonder if it’s because critics are looking for an out-of-the-box cult phenomenon on par with Napoleon Dynamite. I don’t think it’s going to happen. Even though MTV crammed commercials for Hess’s first film down the throats of the teen set for months, it’s cult status developed somewhat organically. People really started to adopt it as their own. I think the Hot Topicization of the film has since corrupted it, but that’s a post for another time.

My point is that I don’t think lightning is going to strike twice in that regard.

I still want to see the movie. If for no other reason than to watch Jack Black do his manic genious thing. One of the screenwriters on the movie was Mike White and he and Black seemed to get along pretty well the last time they collaborated on The School of Rock.

Even though the reviews for Nacho Libre aren’t setting the world en el fuego, I think my expectations have been appropriately lowered and I actually think that will help me to appreciate the movie more. Or at least for what it is… instead of what I want it to be.

↓ Transcript

Will you come with me to see Nacho Libre?

Not if you're wearing that goofy mask, I won't?

You would deny my honor as a Luchador?

To appear in public without my mask would bring shame to my grandchildren!


You are not a Luchadore.

You are a white kid from the suburbs.

Apparently you have not felt the sting of my Scorpion Ankle Hold!