Movie: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
My Rating: 5 stars
I love Taika Waititi’s movies. I love him as a director and as an actor. So, when I saw that he’d just come out with another movie, I knew I had to see it. Although, for some reason, this movie didn’t really stick around in theaters where I live for very long. Perhaps it’s because Waititi is still considered a bit of an indie director here in the US. But, I find that a little strange, since everything I’ve seen of his is such a slam dunk.
This movie is about twelve-year-old Ricky, who has just gone to live with a new foster family (his last chance before being sent to juvie). He’s been through the ringer of the New Zealand foster home system, but it seems like he’s finally found a good fit with his new family—Bella and Hec. These two live in a remote area of the countryside and are pretty self-reliant for most of their needs. Things seem to be going pretty well for Ricky for the first time in his life. But, life is never quite as simple as we’d like it to be.
Things start to go off the rails for Ricky and his foster-dad Hec after they head out into the wilderness for a bit. What was intended to be a little camping trip turns into a months-long ordeal of living off the land, and being hunted by Child Protective Services. Now, you’d think that a story about running from the CPS would be a bit dark and troublesome, but really it’s all quite hilarious. Taika Waititi brings a certain dry sense of humor to all of his projects, and it works really well in this story about a troubled young boy, his surly guardian, and the bond that develops between them after weeks of living on the lam.
I highly recommend this movie. I just love Taika Waititi’s sense of humor so much that I enjoyed every bit of this movie. The humor and the quick clip of the story-telling really work perfectly together to lighten the mood of what would otherwise be a pretty dark story. I think this movie and its jokes are even appropriate for a pretty wide audience. The movie is rated PG-13, and none of the jokes or subject matter feel too mature to be enjoyed by a general audience. Just about anyone can enjoy these New Zealand shenanigans. So, definitely rent this movie as soon as you get the chance.