Recently I had the chance to see Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows, a mockumentary about vampires. If there is anything that is more tired than mockumentaries and vampires I don’t know what it is. Even so, I laughed my head off. So I was pretty excited going into Waititi’s latest film Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I saw it tonight and I loved it but I really didn’t laugh that much. It felt like more of a drama to me with moments of humor.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople reminded me a little bit of last years Walk in the Woods but with a better script. Both are about people escaping modern world into the woods for several months, following their journeys.
To be more specific, it’s a pretty simple story. A child named Ricky is taken in as a foster child by a couple in New Zealand. Then tragedy occurs and Ricky and his foster Dad or “Uncle Hec” as he’s called go on the run into the bush escaping the law. They meet eccentric characters and face challenges as they are pursued by child protection officers and others seeking a reward.
There are funny moments with the dialogue and some of the crazy people they meet but like I said I was more chuckling than roaring with laughter. But I really liked these characters and I liked seeing them grow and change together. It was sweet and heart-warming. I like that they never really softened them up that much. You saw growth but it felt natural and believable instead of cornball material it could have been.
The performances from Julian Dennison as Ricky and Sam Neill as Uncle Hec are wonderful and they have chemistry despite not getting along at first. They were people I was rooting for and wanted to see them succeed.
It’s also a beautiful movie with cinematography that will make you want to go to New Zealand! I also really liked the score and other music used.
If you are looking for a film that will make you smile with likable characters than Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a good choice. I really enjoyed it. I just thought it was more of a drama than a comedy, but that’s not a bad thing.
Overall Grade- B+
Here’s the trailer
10 thoughts on “Hunt for the Wilderpeople Review”
Were you expecting to be “roaring with laughter”? Glad you enjoyed it anyway. I never saw this as a comedy. It was a heartwarming drama with some gentle humor. I loved it. One of my favorites this summer.
Yeah I was. I think because I thought What We Do in the Shadows was so uproariously funny. It was really good. Maybe when I see it again without that expectation I will give it an A- I went back and forth. It was very well written and I loved the characters.
I want to see this soooo bad but it still hasn’t opened anywhere in my area! GRRRRR!
I hope you get to see it soon
Never heard of it before.
Well glad I could introduce it to you
The scene in the church had us roaring with laughter (in fact, we were the only two people in the audience who were laughing throughout the movie). Great review!
Thanks so much! I can see that. That was still kind of bittersweet for me. I don’t know. I didn’t roll on the floor laughing but I liked it.