Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★★★

Last night I watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople for the first time.

AWESOME movie about an orphan who runs off into the bush with his new foster father played by Sam Neill and the police manhunt to find them both.

This movie is a gem.

It juggles a lot of balls very well, it's a very sweet movie about the bonding between this old man and a young boy, it's a LOT like Up actually. They even talk about chasing after an undiscovered bird at one point.

And it's also this adventure movie about surviving in the New Zealand woods. With more gunplay and action than I would have expected. The mix of this heartwarming story filtered through this adventure in harsh territory with an old man and a child, it's a LOT like the game The Last of Us if you ever played that.

AND it's also hilarious. I have not seen the films of Taika Waititi before but I will now. But this movie would fit nicely into Edgar Wright's body of work, with that level of filmmaking while also being laugh out loud funny.

So many hilarious scenes like one of the funniest funeral scenes ever or some guy asking for selfies with the kid since he's famous for being missing or one of the most random and perfect Lord of the Rings references. A great cast in this movie, pretty much everyone who speaks manages to be funny.

It's awesome to see Sam Neill in this. He's ALWAYS good in whatever I've seen him in from Jurassic Park to Peaky Blinders but this is probably the best performance of his I've seen. As this grizzled curmudgeon who's one part Carl from Up and one part John Rambo.

And this kid Julian Dennison is just incredible. One of these child performances that makes it so adult actors have no excuse to be average. Especially comedic actors, if you can't be as funny as this 14 year old kid you REALLY need to get out of the business. I'd call this the child performance of the year, like Jacob Tremblay was in 2015 with Room.

This is such a great movie. Taika Waititi didn't just make some cute movie out in the woods, this is a proper epic adventure movie. The cinematography is just gorgeous, New Zealand hasn't looked this good since Lord of the Rings.

Now I REALLY can't wait to see Thor: Ragnarok if the guy who made Hunt for the Wilderpeople is behind it.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is one of the best films of 2016.