Movie Review: Hunt For The Wilderpeople

A feel-good family movie

Score: 8/10

– Warning: Spoiler Alert! –


Yesterday evening we saw ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople,’ a lovely feel-good movie for the whole family. We were supposed to see it on Saturday evening, but I got the timing wrong and we showed up at the theatre an hour after the movie started. The ticket lady was so kind to give us tickets for the next day session, but I forgot it was a school day afterwards, so no sleep-in for the kids. Sorry, kids…

Anyway, the movie was great! It was so funny 🙂 . First of all because is was lovely to hear the New Zealand dialect again. They pronounce the ‘i’ as ‘e’ and the word six gets a whole different meaning… (not that it featured in this movie, LOL!). Secondly, because the people in the movie call a spade a spade. No tippy toe-ing to keep everybody happy, just calling what it is. And it is such a relief! Our society is so ‘you can’t say this’ and ‘you can’t do that,’ it’s not funny anymore. To go back to ‘real life’ is like a breath of fresh air, or like eating a peppermint chewie (which I did during the movie and hadn’t since a long time).

The story is about a boy, Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), who has been dragged through ‘the system’ since he can remember. The movie starts when he is dropped off at a last foster address. If this doesn’t work the next stop will be ‘juvie,’ the juvenile detention centre. Fortunately he finally finds his place, but when disaster strikes (his foster mum, played by Rima Te Wiata, suddenly dies) he has to pair up with his unwilling foster father (Sam Neil). They disappear into the bush and a large scale manhunt ensues.

The acting is real to over-the-top. Sam Neil is of course gorgeous as the grumpy foster dad, you immediately want to hug Rima Te Wiata, and Julian Dennison doesn’t do a bad job either. The role of Rachel House as Paula, the Child welfare worker, is the one that’s over-the-top, giving her character a bit of a slapstick feel, but this makes the gloomy subject of ‘the system’ watchable for young children. The New Zealand landscape features heavily in this movie and is just gorgeous to look at, with prehistoric ferns and all. If you can’t afford to go there to enjoy it in real life, this movie will give you a good look at it from the comfort of your seat.

There is obviously a moral to the story, one that everybody should head; kids nowadays are playing up because they are just plain bored. Hopefully some good will come from people watching it. If you have kids, do take them to see it. It’s a fun movie, full of excitement and weird characters. A fun time for all!


Author: Jacky Dahlhaus

Paranormal Romance Author

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