Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by
A Kiwi nerd love story and loopy portrait of Down Under underachievers, Eagle vs. Shark offers a deadpan take on family, friendship, obsession and self-delusion.
Unlike so many big-studio films that pass off models in horn-rimmed glasses as nerds, this little New Zealand gem embraces the inner geek and, just as effectively, celebrates misfit love.
Never before have I been so emotionally involved with an apple core, or seen salvation in a flip-flop. Taika Waititi, you had me at nunchuks.
With an often very funny story line that eventually touches on parental disappointment and suicide, it's clear that, his debt to Hess and Wes Anderson notwithstanding, Waititi has learned a thing or two from fellow antipodean Jane Campion as well.
The film is punctuated by a literal knock down, drag out affair that has all the perverse curiosity of watching a "late career" Mike Tyson bout. But by the end, the real knockout is the discovery of this comic gem.
This debut feature, occasionally arch but consistently affecting, shares the deadpan esthetic of "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Ghost World."
Miami Herald
Eagle vs. Shark feels like a low-budget, foreign cousin to Napolean Dynamite, less polished and sly. But it's definitely in the same family, lulling us into friendly acceptance with its persuasively silly rhythm and deceptively big heart.
Watching Eagle vs Shark is like sitting next to a terminally awkward first date at a restaurant. You cringe and feel protective toward the poor, sweet dweebs at the same time.
This is the kind of movie in which Jarrod's nemesis turns out to be paraplegic, while his dad lives in a wheelchair despite the fact that he can walk just fine. Ha.
It's a tale that reduces angst, not to mention love, to a generational tic.
The Hollywood Reporter
More dumb than funny.

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