The kid is, in fact, my son | Movie Sidebar | Chicago Reader

The kid is, in fact, my son 

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

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

boy_2_magnum.jpg

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. Waititi'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.

What others are saying

  • Film Details

    Now Playing

    Boy and Eagle vs. Shark are not showing in any theaters in the area.

    Comments

    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    More by J.R. Jones

    Popular Stories