47 Great Movie Moments #9 – Eagle vs. Shark

Eagle vs. Shark (2007)

Directed by:  Taika Waititi

Shy dreamer Lily and angry, awkward Jarrod try to navigate their young relationship while also confronting the complexities of Jarrod’s home life.

The Set-up

In the midst of everything going on between he and his new girlfriend, Jarrod (Jermaine Clement) has decided to return to his hometown to wreak revenge upon Eric, a bully who made his high school life miserable.  Jarrod challenges him to a fight, but when the moment comes, Eric turns up in a wheelchair…

The Moment

Eric is actually quick to apologize to Jarrod for how he treated him in school, expressing genuine remorse for his immature behavior.  Jarrod, however, desperate to prove himself in the eyes of his watching family…attacks him anyway.  With nunchucks!  But, in spite of Jarrod’s obvious advantages, he loses the fight.  Badly.

Jarrod, played by Jermaine Clement from Flight of the Concords, is a guy who desperately needs to be taught a lesson in humility.  He spends the entire movie with a chip on his shoulder and an axe to grind.  And yet it’s still surprising to see him actually lash out and attack the disabled Eric, simply because we’d never believe that someone could sink so low.  When he actually gets beaten up in the process, it’s even worse.  The whole sequence is perfect for setting up Jarrod’s utter humiliation, and is quite dark while remaining extremely funny.


The Payoff

This lowest of low points in terms of Jarrod’s self respect finally brings him to the position of brokenness that he needs to be in to recognize the value of what Lily is offering him, and to accept it.



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