DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
Taika Waititi has a unique talent. He has the ability to create a cinematic universe (let's call this universe New Zealand) which is drenched in magical realism without losing touch of reality, thus relating very real subjects.
With the exception of What We Do in the Shadows, I've loved all his films. In this film he uses his talents to full effect, giving us a story that is as uplifting as it is touching, as bizarre as it is relatable. And it's bloody hilarious.
Waititi paces this adventurous romp to perfection, building up the budding relationship between the two protagonists beautifully. Young Julian Dennison is perfect as gangster wannabe kid. It's a really great performance, dosing the over the topness and the subtle realness to perfection. He is accompanied by the hilariously grumpy Sam Neill. I adored this character. It is beautiful to see how Neill slowly strips off his stoicism to reveal the socially clumsy human being underneath.
I loved these two characters, their adventures and their heartfelt connection. But most of the comedy and laugh out loud moments come from the absolutely superb Rachel House. Simply hilarious.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is without pretense, comfortable, genuine, heartfelt and silly. It is a quintessential feel good film that is irresistible.