Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★★

77/100

Ranked: 2016

What a delightful gem of a film. The odd-couple-on-a-wild-adventure formula is one that is often recycled but rarely is the dynamic between the two protagonists as engaging and heart-warming as it is in Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I knew it had been well received since its release but I was slightly apprehensive that this film would tread on the tracks of many films that have come before it, but in the end the effortless mix of brilliantly-delivered dry humour and real melancholic poignancy completely won me over. It was wonderful to see Sam Neill back at the peak of his powers whilst channelling a grumpy disdain for children that was reminiscent of his performance in Jurassic Park some 20 years ago, whilst co-star Julian Dennison displays a level of comic chops that are rarely seen from child actors. The pair develop a wonderful chemistry that really carries the film from beginning to end as their hardened exteriors that have come as a result of troubled pasts are slowly peeled away due to shared experiences on the run.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is far from ground-breaking but it nonetheless stands out as one of the most affecting, charming and laugh-out-load funny films of 2016 that goes down incredibly well as a truly feel-good cinematic experience.

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