Friday, July 8, 2016


Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople official site A police car is driving on the left side of the road to a farm house surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Although people drive on the opposite side of the road in New Zealand, they've got the same problem as in America—many orphaned children need foster homes to stay, and the police car is transporting a troubled chubby teenager to his new foster home. Upon his arrival, the teenager surveys the house and sits right back into the police car without a single word. That first impression of disapproval hilariously opens New Zealand director Taika Waititi's delightful new film "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (New Zealand 2015 | 101 min.). The film is based on the novel "Wild Pork and Watercress" by beloved author Barry Crump, and it carries a humorous tone throughout the boy's odyssey with his new foster parent.

The chubby kid is Ricky (Julian Dennison). According to Paula (Rachel House), the comical social worker who escorts Ricky to his new home, Ricky is absolutely untamable and he has been behaving badly in his previous foster homes. But cheerful Aunty Bella (Rima Te Wiata) can't care less. She opens her arms and fully embraces Ricky as a new addition to the family while her grumpy husband Hec (Sam Neill) is far less enthusiastic about Ricky and forbids Ricky from calling him uncle.

Just when Ricky begins to like his new home and enjoy life on a farm, a tragic turn triggers Paula to be on a mission to take Ricky back to the child service system. Ricky refuses to leave Hec and they escape into the forest.

A nationwide manhunt begins to search for them. While on the run, Ricky and Hec develop stronger bond and they come to realize that nothing will separate them apart again.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Official Site

The director Taika Waititi surely knows how to please us with two quirky and likable characters. The exchange between Ricky and Hec is so irresistible that you turn a blind eye on the credibility of the plot. You don't question how they can continue to walk in their only pair of shoes after they crossed a river in them, or how Hec is able to heal his broken leg in the wild without proper food and shelter. As long as they continue their journey and be each other's company on the screen, you'll be entertained by their optimistic spirit and slapstick humor. When the chase finally comes to an end in a scene similar to the one in "Thelma & Louise" (1991), you can't help but admire the duo's accomplishment.

The film proudly showcases the grand landscape where the characters wander. It makes you believe that you would want to be in the woods and meet a slew of eccentric people instead of going back to the child service if you were Ricky. The arresting performance by an ensemble of fine cast is constantly charming and amusing.

Who would have thought that getting a foster kid can be so dramatic and so much fun? No wonder Aunty Bella is so excited to meet Ricky. Who wouldn't? But pray you will not encounter a social worker like Paula.

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople," an Orchard release, opens on Friday, July 8, 2016 in San Francisco Bay Area.

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