Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★

This was my second Waititi film, and it has become clear to me that the man has a talent for clever visual comedy. The occasionally manic cutting combined with highly stylized shots occasionally gave me a Wes Anderson vibe, which is pretty much always a compliment. The pig murder scene early on comes to mind, as well as the recap of Ricky's previous crimes as conveyed by the social worker.

The character writing here is equally as sharp. The relationship between Ricky and Uncle Hetor are at the heart of this story, and although the dynamic feels familiar, it works because of how hilarious Ricky is. For some reason a pudgy New Zealand kid who endlessly references American gangster culture is a character that completely works.

My biggest complaint for the film is that it's familiarity severely limits it's potential. Within the first five minutes it's pretty clear how the central conflict between the two leads will resolve. I also found the conclusion to be a little too tidy for my tastes.

Still all in all, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a warm and funny take on a well worn movie trope.

elgonzalez liked this review