Friday, February 3, 2017

Movie Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) written and directed by Taika Waititi

Foster child Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) has come to his last opportunity to live in a home--the New Zealand bush farm of Hec (Sam Neil) and Bella (Rima Te Wiata). Bella is very enthusiastic; Hec is there. Ricky is unsure but he's been through a lot of homes and his caseworker is glad to be rid of him. She's supposed to inspect the home to make sure it's appropriate. She gives a quick glance and approves it. She jokingly tells Bella that there are no returns. Ricky moves in and awkwardly gets to know and like his foster parents. Things don't go perfectly smoothly, though, leading to a long trek through the bush. I don't want to give away too much of the plot because the discovery of what's going on and what's happening next is quite delightful.

The film is a warm-hearted and enjoyable comedy. The cast does a great job and the script is smart enough to pull some surprises. Some of the twists and bits are quirky in the best possible way. The New Zealand countryside is also quite beautiful and lovingly photographed.

Highly recommended!


  1. We really liked the first half and felt it fell apart halfway through ... never to recover, unfortunately.

  2. They did go pretty far over the top in the second half. I almost took against the film when seemingly the whole army showed up for a chase scene, but I do like over the top stuff, so I went with it.

  3. It wasn't the "over the top" part. It was way before that when they stopped telling the story they'd been telling at the beginning and ... lost their way (ha!). :-D