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87 minutes
Eagle Vs Shark (2007), the first feature by New Zealand comedian Taika Waititi, struck me as a fairly obvious knockoff of Napoleon Dynamite, the reigning cult comedy of the day. For this second feature, Waititi has reached into his past for a story that belongs to him alone. The protagonist is an 11-year-old Maori boy (James Rolleston) living in a small coastal village, and because the year is 1984, he’s obsessed with Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The boy’s mother died giving birth to his six-year-old brother, and their hapless father (Waititi) has been doing time in jail; suddenly he reappears in their lives, willing to play the attentive parent long enough to find some loot he buried in the backyard. Waittiti’s comic vocabulary hasn’t changed much—there’s a lot of voice-over narration illustrated with ludicrous, cartoonish tableaux—yet the kids’ genuine longing for their no-good dad elevates this above simple deadpan humor.


See our full review: The kid is, in fact, my son

The kid is, in fact, my son

A Maori lad who worships Michael Jackson reunites with his deadbeat dad in Boy »

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  • The kid is, in fact, my son

    The kid is, in fact, my son

    A Maori lad who worships Michael Jackson reunites with his deadbeat dad in Boy
    • Apr 26, 2012

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