After bonding at a come-as-your-favourite-animal party, shop assistant Jarrod (Jemaine Clement) and fast food cashier Lily (Loren Horsely), embark on a romance which takes the pair to Jarrod's home town where he confronts a school body and addresses a fractured relationship wiuth his father.

1.5
A sadly unfunny and cliché-ridden attempt at a romantic comedy.

With the New Zealand film Eagle vs Shark attracting comparisons to Napoleon Dynamite, audiences have just cause to fear the worst. Both films feature hypocritical 'celebration' (read mockery) of nerdy underdogs, both are cringingly cute, and neither is very funny. Eagle vs Shark has the added problem of being simultaneously unbelievable and predictable down to its last corny detail, but it’s the desperate struggle to be quirky and kitschy that grates the most.

What little plot there is concerns the rocky relationship between Lily (Loren Horsley) and Jarrod (Jemaine Clement). Both of them are socially inept. She has a winsome smile, works in a fast food outlet, tells feeble jokes and is a whiz at video games. He makes trashy wax sculptures, talks in self-aggrandising clichés and vows to wreak vengeance on the guy who beat him up at school. Jarrod hosts a party where you have to come dressed as your favourite animal, hence the title. He says 'Do you wanna have sex?" and Lily says 'Yep". Riveting stuff.

When the funniest line in a movie is, 'You’re a bitch and you’re gonna die of diabetes", it’s got real problems. Writer-director Taika Cohen tries to flesh out the central love story with the inclusion of numerous minor characters, but to no avail. When Lily and Jarrod drive to his home town on the 'revenge mission", we meet his family and friends – and almost without exception, they’re gormless caricatures. Not for a minute do you care what happens to anyone.

Eagle vs Shark is wafer-thin and eminently missable"¦unless you think that romantic comedies are improved by irony and oddball animated sequences.

A sadly unfunny and cliché-ridden attempt at a romantic comedy.

Filmink 1.5/5