This is a film that champions the geeks and freaks of this world, throwing two awkward losers together in a love story set in Wellington and Tatahi Bay, New Zealand. The movie is written and directed by Taika Waititi who has generated a cult following in New Zealand and internationally, writing and directing classics like Flight of the Concords, Boy, Hunt for the Wilder People and What We Do In The Shadows.
If you have ever been to New Zealand then you will be completely aware of their extremely unique sense of humour. There are many indie movie makers in New Zealand but Taika Waititi always brings something special and unique to the screen and his scripts could be viewed as the finest examples of modern New Zealand comedy. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best short film in 2005, but has developed a cult following for his TV shows and movies collaborating with a melting pot of the best talent in New Zealand including Jermaine Clement who has worked with Taika on a number of projects. The lead role in Eagle vs Shark is played by Clement and it is clear to see the chemistry that has formed over the years between these two huge talents.
At times it can be painful to watch the truly cringe-worthy actions taken by the characters, especially by “Jarrod” Jermaine Clement. But this is where the magic lies in this story, instead of reacting to the characters the audience is invited to empathize with them and you find yourself directly connecting with these misfits. Loren Horsley plays “Lily” who is dead set on getting together with “Jarrod” and the performances from both actors is just brilliant as they pull and pull each other apart. Think a 1980's nerdy Romeo and Juliet with the backdrop of New Zealand and you are on the right path.
There is no doubt that this style of humor is not to everyone's taste, but if you are familiar with the great films coming out of New Zealand and you enjoy their comedy style – there is no doubt that you will enjoy this film.