A-Z Daily Throwback Review: Eagle vs. Shark (2007)



Eagle vs. Shark is the simple story of two slightly strange and lonely people who meet and connect, although often awkwardly so. Lily (Loren Horsley) is a sad fast-food waitress, in danger of losing even that job, but she has a crush on one of her customers. Jarrod (Jemaine Clement) comes in to eat at the same time every day, and when he invites Lily to a party they hit it off and begin seeing each other. Jarrod’s main concern is getting revenge on the bully who picked on him when he was growing up, so he and Lily take a trip home for Jarrod to enact revenge. Meanwhile Lily gets to know Jarrod’s family, most of which still look at him as an outcast and mourn the loss of his brother.


With “dress as your favorite animal” parties and uncomfortable visits home, Eagle vs. Shark is like Napoleon Dynamite meets Buffalo 66. The deadpan style of humor in delivery and eccentric dressing habits and interests is not far off from Napoleon Dynamite either, but through the strange habits of these characters is actually a rather endearing story of love. Neither Lily nor Jarrod are very experienced in love, and it is often awkward and uncomfortable, but somehow still sweet.


Along with a group of eclectic and strange characters, Eagle vs. Shark has numerous sequences of unexpected stop-animation to bring us even further into the delusional fantasy world of Jarrod and Lily. They are both searching for something, and this is often represented in the things they fantasize, as are their fears. Being brought into the world of an outcast is often as uncomfortable as you might expect, but the struggle isn’t in vain. The experiences that the characters go through allow them to break out of their shells and leave behind their illusions.


       The DVD has deleted scenes, with optional commentary by writer/director Taika Waititi. Some of the deleted scenes are pretty funny, although it is a good length at an hour-and-a-half. As enjoyable as the film was, much longer would have made it suffer. There is also a series of outtakes, most of which is filled with the actors laughing for no reason. The commentary is one of the highlights of the DVD, with Waititi and several guests. There is also a music video which is basically just footage from the film. The music is yet another great element of the film, so it is appropriate there is a music video included.

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