Movie review: The Hunt for the Wilderpeople

'I had no idea how good it would be'

'I had no idea how good it would be'

Unashamedly human: Julian Dennison as Ricky Baker and Sam Neill as Uncle Hec.

Picture supplied
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE: Julian Dennison stars as lead character Ricky Baker. Picture supplied

It is a very rare occurrence when a film draws me completely out of myself and immerses me unreservedly in the action, but I am pleased to report that The Hunt for the Wilderpeople did just that.

I went into this film knowing it would be good, but I had no idea about how good it would actually turn out to be.

Ricky Baker is a Bad Kid. He’s been evicted from countless foster homes and his last chance before he gets put in juvie is at the home of Bella and Hector, a couple who live in the middle of New Zealand backcountry. Bella welcomes Ricky into their home immediately, but Hector, the quintessential monosyllabic Kiwi male, is less enthused.

Long story short Ricky, who doesn’t want to go back to the system, takes off into the bush and runs away. He is quickly joined by Hector, who doesn’t particularly like life outside of the bush anyhow.

It's funny, 'violently Kiwi' and has heart

This film was phenomenal. Taika Waititi’s directorial style shines brightly through in every scene, and the cinematography is excellent. This film is funny, violently Kiwi, and most of all, it has a heart. In a world full of Hollywoodisms, of consistent beauty, cheap love stories, and insurmountable glitz, it is wonderful to meet a film that isn’t about that.

Currently, the main film at the box office is Batman vs Superman. Do you know how nice it is not to have to wade through an ocean of Henry Cavill’s chiselled jaw, man-angst, and Zack Snyder’s trademark ‘pretty visuals, no plot’ philosophy?

Wilderpeople isn’t afraid to reflect real life. The two lead characters of this film are unashamedly human. How often do we see leads of Hollywood films being realistically old? How often do we see leads of Hollywood films being anything other than extremely skinny, caked in enough makeup to hide the tiniest imperfection? We don’t.

This film shows real life, through its falls and its flaws. We see death, we see anger, and we see characters growing together to become better people.

Kiwi fairytale

All in all, this film is a tribute to storytelling. It’s a Kiwi fairytale in a way, with imagination and haiku driving the story along and making this film more than just a 100-minute walk in the bush. Sure, there’s some issues with the CGI, and the plot requires some suspension of disbelief, but it’s wonderful. It’s a beautiful film, both plot-wise and visuals-wise.

If you’re tossing up between watching Batman vs Superman, 10 Cloverfield Lane, or The Hunt for the Wilderpeople this weekend, watch the film that doesn’t rely on cheap scares to drive its narrative, and also doesn’t have Ben Affleck in it.

Plus, Wilderpeople has cute dogs. What more could you want?

Emma graduated from Gisborne Girls’ High School at the end of 2014. She is now studying theatre and film and Victoria University. This and other reviews can be found at www.emmamaguirereviewsthings.wordpress.com/

It is a very rare occurrence when a film draws me completely out of myself and immerses me unreservedly in the action, but I am pleased to report that The Hunt for the Wilderpeople did just that.

I went into this film knowing it would be good, but I had no idea about how good it would actually turn out to be.

Ricky Baker is a Bad Kid. He’s been evicted from countless foster homes and his last chance before he gets put in juvie is at the home of Bella and Hector, a couple who live in the middle of New Zealand backcountry. Bella welcomes Ricky into their home immediately, but Hector, the quintessential monosyllabic Kiwi male, is less enthused.

Long story short Ricky, who doesn’t want to go back to the system, takes off into the bush and runs away. He is quickly joined by Hector, who doesn’t particularly like life outside of the bush anyhow.

It's funny, 'violently Kiwi' and has heart

This film was phenomenal. Taika Waititi’s directorial style shines brightly through in every scene, and the cinematography is excellent. This film is funny, violently Kiwi, and most of all, it has a heart. In a world full of Hollywoodisms, of consistent beauty, cheap love stories, and insurmountable glitz, it is wonderful to meet a film that isn’t about that.

Currently, the main film at the box office is Batman vs Superman. Do you know how nice it is not to have to wade through an ocean of Henry Cavill’s chiselled jaw, man-angst, and Zack Snyder’s trademark ‘pretty visuals, no plot’ philosophy?

Wilderpeople isn’t afraid to reflect real life. The two lead characters of this film are unashamedly human. How often do we see leads of Hollywood films being realistically old? How often do we see leads of Hollywood films being anything other than extremely skinny, caked in enough makeup to hide the tiniest imperfection? We don’t.

This film shows real life, through its falls and its flaws. We see death, we see anger, and we see characters growing together to become better people.

Kiwi fairytale

All in all, this film is a tribute to storytelling. It’s a Kiwi fairytale in a way, with imagination and haiku driving the story along and making this film more than just a 100-minute walk in the bush. Sure, there’s some issues with the CGI, and the plot requires some suspension of disbelief, but it’s wonderful. It’s a beautiful film, both plot-wise and visuals-wise.

If you’re tossing up between watching Batman vs Superman, 10 Cloverfield Lane, or The Hunt for the Wilderpeople this weekend, watch the film that doesn’t rely on cheap scares to drive its narrative, and also doesn’t have Ben Affleck in it.

Plus, Wilderpeople has cute dogs. What more could you want?

Emma graduated from Gisborne Girls’ High School at the end of 2014. She is now studying theatre and film and Victoria University. This and other reviews can be found at www.emmamaguirereviewsthings.wordpress.com/

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