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I almost came as a shark actually, but then I realized an eagle's slightly better.

I almost came as a shark actually, but then I realized an eagle's slightly better.

R

Loren Horsley, Jemaine Clement

Doug: Is that the makeup you got from us?
Lily: Yeah.
Doug: …And your skin’s alright?
Lily: Yeah…why?
Doug: Oh…
Nancy: We were just wondering.
Doug: …nothing.

Lily (Horsley) and Jarrod (Clement) meet and bond over video games and discussions of their favorite animals.  But Jarrod may not have time for a girlfriend in his life, as he’s busy training to get revenge on a high school bully who he thinks ruined his life.

This is an odd little movie from New Zealand.  It feels like what you’d get if Wes Anderson directed a sequel to Napolean Dynamite.  The characters exist in their own world where everybody is bizarre in one way or another.  It can be amusing, at first, watching everybody being so strange, but that can’t carry a movie by itself.  For the first half of it, that seems to be what they’re trying to do, but then it gets better as it goes.

Loren Horsley is good throughout, being weird yet very likeable.  Jemaine Clement (from Flight of the Conchords) is funny, but it’s a bit of a one-note character.  And the fact that the character is a whiny jerk doesn’t help.

There’s a surprisingly touching back story involving Jarrod’s family, but I don’t feel like they did a good job tying that in with his personality and the whole bully revenge plot.  It gets overshadowed by all of that silliness and never seems to pay off in the end.  Though, as I mentioned, the last half of the movie is definitely funnier and more interesting than the first half.

This would probably fall in the same “cult” category as Napolean Dynamite.  I imagine some people will love it while others won’t even be able to sit through it for 20 minutes.  I made it through all of it.  Didn’t love it, but I liked it.

10 – 3 for dull first half + .8 for Loren Horsley’s performance – 1 for not meshing the plotlines together very well = 6.8