Jack Black has made a number of memorable comedies from Saving Silverman to Tropic Thunder to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Now, one of his other better-known comedies, Nacho Libre, is available on super streamer Netflix. But it won’t be there long, the title gets dropped from the streamer on July 1st.
In Nacho Libre, the premise is simple. A cook in a Mexican monastery wishes to give the children in his care better meals so he fulfills his forbidden dream of becoming a Mexican wrestler in order to get the money necessary to help the kids.
Jack Black is Ignacio, a cook for the Oaxaca monastery orphanage where was raised, is a simple man with big dreams of becoming a luchador. But since the monastery considers wresting to be a sin of vanity, he is unable to fulfill his dream.
Ignacio also cares deeply for the children in the orphanage but is heartbroken he can’t provide better meals for them for lack of funds. Ignacio also has feelings for Sister Encarnación, who teaches at the orphanage.
One night, Ignacio is out collecting bags of tortilla chips when he is mugged. After his beat down of the street thief Steven, the still frustrated Ignacio decides to go against the monastery’s rules by killing two birds with one stone. He will become a luchador which will help him earn money to better serve the children.
After convincing Steven to be his tag team partner, the two secretly join a local Lucha libre competition. Ignacio calls himself Nacho to hide his identity while Steven takes on the name of Esqueleto. With no formal training, the newly formed tag team loses their first match, but they still get paid. Happy with this end result, the duo continues to wrestle weekly, losing but still getting paid.
With the losing finally getting to Jack Black’s Ignacio, he seeks advice from a water gypsy, who has Ignacio perform a feat involving an eagle’s nest and the yolk of an egg. Although Ignacio completes the task, it doesn’t work as they lose their next few bouts.
Now, Ignacio goes to the one person he feels can help – luchador champion Ramses, Ignacio’s idol. But Ramses only looks down on Ignacio, arrogantly turning Ignacio away. Things are about to get even worse for Ignacio.
The Jack Black character’s secret is finally revealed to all at the monastery. Having to admit that he truly is Nacho, he also explains to the monks and children that he plans to enter the big battle royale as the winner will get the opportunity to face Ramses for the championship and a huge cash prize.
Unfortunately, Jack Black’s Ignacio loses the battle royale, coming in second place. He also loses his standing at the monastery as he is banished to the wilderness. Ignacio’s luck is about to change, though, as Steven informs him that the winner of the battle royale got injured so Ignacio gets to take his place and fight Ramses for the championship.
Things don’t go well for Ignacio in the fight, that is until Sister Encarnación arrives with the children.
Nacho Libre is a fun, harmless, and at times, warm-hearted movie. Jack Black leans on his charming goofiness to bring Nacho’s well intentions to life. The movie was directed by Jared Hess from a script written by Hess, his wife Jerusha, and Mike White. The Hess’s are probably best known for the cult classic Napoleon Dynamite. White has a history with Black as he wrote and starred in Black’s School of Rock.
Hess handles his duties well bringing Jack Black’s sense of comedy to the big screen. For the most part, the film works but many times Nacho Libre’s off-beat humor has been compared to the more off-beat laughs the Hess’s introduced fans to with Napoleon Dynamite. Black’s Nacho did fare well at the box office, bringing in over $99 million on its $35 million budget.
Jack Black, while best known as an actor, is also a musician. He famously showed off his musical talents first in the 2003 hit musical comedy School of Rock and then really tore into it with his musical partner Kyle Gass in another musical comedy Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.
For Black and Gass, the Tenacious D movie was a long time coming. The pair formed the comedy rock duo back in 1994 and since that time had been performing as opening acts for groups such as Tool, Foo Fighters, and Beck. The pair have released four CDs, their first was self-titled in 2001. They have since followed up with The Pick of Destiny in 2006, Rize of the Fenix (2012), and Post-Apocalypto (2018).
While Jack Black’s humor may be an acquired taste to some, to others it is spot on. This can be evidenced by the two Golden Globe nominations Black has received throughout his career. His first came with School of Rock and the second was in the black comedy Bernie, where Black played Bernie Tiede, the funeral director in a small East Texas town who murders a rich widow.
Jack Black also uses his vocal talents in other ways besides singing. He is best known as Po in the Kung Fu Panda franchise that has its roots both on the big and small screens. He has also been heard in Ice Age and Shark Tale among other titles.
Even though Jack Black has announced time and again his retirement from acting, he continues to crank out movies. The past few years have seen Black continue to find big movies with the Jumanji franchise as well as The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Black is now working on the recently announced Borderlands.
Whether Jack Black actually goes through with his retirement is the big unknown. For now, you can see one of his classic comedies, Nacho Libre, on Netflix.