Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Directed by Taika Waititi
Starring Sam Neill, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Rhys Darby and Julian Dennison
Available on EST from 9th December, VOD from 16th December and DVD & Blu-Ray on 16th January

by Joanna Orland

There’s nothing overtly special or new about the core premise of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, but through its heart and comedic sensibility, it is one of the most charming films of the year.

Ricky (Dennison) is a 13-year-old orphan, who has been shuffled from home to home throughout his life. Reluctant to move in with his latest foster family on a remote farm, the self-styled gangsta eventually falls for his foster aunt Bella and makes himself at home. After her tragic passing, Ricky finds himself on the run with Bella’s husband Hec (Neill), a crotchety grump who would rather spend his days alone in the Bush. Hec hurts his foot and the pair need to hide out for a couple of weeks in the wilderness, which causes child services and the police to ensue a manhunt.

Directed by Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows), the film uses beautiful scenery, endearing characters and a vibrant soundtrack to help charm its audience. While the characters are going through their emotional journey, it’s more their quirkiness and likability that is delightful to watch. Dennison is very charismatic and good-natured as Ricky while Neill is a sly and sarky powerhouse providing the dramatic crux of the film.

Quite mediocre in its core concept, Hunt for the Wilderpeople has that perfect balance of heart and charm, making it one of the most endearing films of 2016.






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