Hunt for the Wilderpeople
“Infectiously entertaining” - Russ Fischer, NERDIST
"Warmly funny and deeply delightful” - Tim Grierson, SCREEN DAILY
Juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker never stays in a foster home for long. While a new family has recently been found, it’s now his last chance to show that he can conform. Of course, Ricky doesn’t plan on staying long with Bella and Hec, a couple living surrounded by nature. His usual tricks, however, don’t work on Bella and the two of them eventually become friends, before the latter suddenly dies. Not wanting to go back to juvie, Ricky runs away deep into the forest. When Hec finds out, he goes after him. When social services get there and find no one home, they assume that Hec has kidnapped Ricky. Here begins a wild manhunt that will force our two protagonists to put aside their differences if they’re going to survive.
Taika Waititi is definitely Hollywood’s flavour of the moment. His previous film, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, landed him the gig directing THOR: RAGNAROK. But before taking this big step, he delivers the satisfying HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE. For his fourth opus, he introduces us to New Zealand writer Barry Crump’s novel “Wild Pork and Watercress,” a work that fits perfectly well within Waititi’s humorous cinematic universe. He also gives magnificent nods to classic New Zealand films from the ’70s and ’80s, like SLEEPING DOGS, GOODBYE PORK PIE and even SMASH PALACE. The amazing cast includes Rachel House and Oscar Kightley, who fit together like Laurel and Hardy; Rhys Darby as a certifiably insane recluse; and Sam Neill (JURASSIC PARK, THE PIANO), who reminds us once again just how great he really is. All this talent, however, is eclipsed by Julian Dennison. Funny, charismatic and heartwarming, he delivers an unforgettable performance. As usual, Waititi offers an intelligent, hilarious and original film — let’s just hope he can bring these great qualities with him to Hollywood.
— Éric S. Boisvert