Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Title: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
Runtime: 1 hr 41 mins

What It Is: Young Ricky (Dennison) has been shuttled around from home to home most of his life. When he’s taken in by Bella (Te Wiata) and Hec (Neill) two people who are just what Ricky needs. Bella is a loving mother the boys never had while Hec proves to be a strong masculine figure for the “troubled” youth. When Bella mysteriously dies the two men are left to fend for themselves. All this while trying to escape the clutches of a relentless social worker.

What We Think: This movie is charming, funny and flat out great. Taika Waititi has hit it out of the park again. When you couple this with 2015’s What We Do in the Shadows he’s made one of the year’s best comedies two years in a row. I look forward to his debut in the franchise world with the third installment of the Thor series. Rhys Darby makes another very funny appearance in a Waititi film. I really believe there’s something brewing down under. What that is is the exceptional comedy of some very funny individuals.

Our Grade: B+, Telling a really touching story elegantly disguised as a buddy comedy of sorts. This has happiness, sadness and most everything in between. A lot of the funny stems from the naivety of Hec and Ricky along the way. Whether it’s Hec’s lack of understanding or Ricky’s (wrong) way with words. I really think Waititi could make a good comedy director if given a chance here in the states. His sensibilities really fit the independent feel rather well but I’d be interested to see him in a larger comedy background. Sure the new Marvel film he’s working on could be funny but it isn’t an out and out comedy. I highly recommend you check this one out!

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