We finally got to see Taiki Waititi’s ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople‘, a film that did not make our local cinema, yet we desperately wanted to see as a fan of his last film, What We Do In The Shadows and a lot of his earlier work, in particular, his Eagle Vs Shark and TV’s Flight of the Conchords.
It has now arrived on the UK Netflix so we could not wait to watch it. The film is based on the book by Barry Crump, called Wild Pork and Watercress, which you can find at Amazon here:
The film follows Ricky (Julian Dennison) a rebellious child, who is placed with a foster mother, Bella (Rima Te Wiata) via Child Welfare to live on her remote farm, with her husband Hec (Sam Neill) and their dog, Zag.
Ricky attempts to run away on the first night, but being in such a remote location does not get very far, and eventually Bella wins him over, showing him love it appears he has never been shown, culminating in him getting his own dog, Tupac, for his first birthday with them.
Hec who has never really shown much attention to Ricky, is forced to, after the sad passing of Bella. With Child Welfare now looking to take Ricky back into care due to the loss of his mother figure and Hec’s criminal record, which we learn about later in the film.
Ricky does not accept this and runs off into the woods, Hec follows, but breaks his ankle, so has to stay out with Ricky in the forest, creating a national manhunt as they avoid all captures and bond together in a way they never have before.
On their journey, whilst on the run, they meet many characters, including 3 hunters who get the idea that Ricky is being abused. This, along with Ricky being treated as mentally unstable, when he left a fake suicide note when running away, is what has caused this massive manhunt, led by determined welfare officer, Paula (Rachel House).
The journey will see Hec and Ricky open up to each other, bonding other eating in the wild, hunting and even over death, sadly this does involve a dog. Hec, becomes a stronger person over the journey, with Ricky helping him scatter the ashes of his beloved Bella.
Ricky meets up with Kahu ( Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne) a young girl, who helps them get help to a hunter they have found, who has had a form of diabetic attack. It is during this visit, Ricky learns that he and Hec have become a big TV story, culminating in Kahu’s dad, TK (Troy Kingi) wanting a selfie with him.
Eventually, the welfare finalyy catch up to Hec and Ricky, who have named themselves Wilderpeople, after sharing traits with the wildebeest whilst out in the wild, but with a little help from Psycho Sam (a hilarious Rhys Darby) they plan one final escape to freedom.
We really can not recommend this film enough, it is a great coming of age tale that spreads across all genres; adventure movie, comedy movie and buddy movie. Some of the scenes involving the wildebeest are quite graphic, hence the film’s 12 certificate but it really is a must see.
Taiki’s next film is the latest adventure for Marvel’s ‘Thor: Ragnorak’ It will be very interesting to see what his superhero film will be like.
You can view the trailer at the film’s website as well as buy merchandise here:
If you don’t have Netflix, you can buy the film here:
Are you a fan of the Wilderpeople? Would you have preferred Taiki to have made another smaller film like this than a Marvel blockbuster? We would love to hear from you
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