Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★★½

Second viewing is always a good time to scope out the audience reactions - a lot of laughter, particularly during the "Shit just got real" scene in the cabin - but tense, audible gasps during the final act, and a few tears. The emotional aspect comes through much more strongly second time around, particularly Ricky's offhand references to his friend who died in the care service. It all has the feel of a pre-12 certificate PG movie; something a little more tonally unpredictable, a little spikier, more dangerous than your usual family comedy (although it works beautifully as that as well).

Despite his extensive and terrifying rap sheet - spitting, kicking things over, setting things on fire - you really want Ricky to have a happy life, largely because Julian Dennison's performance is so wonderfully judged. His expressions while he's harmonising are hilarious. It's a whole movie of great reaction shots, actually. Early on Waititi's clearly figured out that any cutaway to Sam Neill is going to be a masterpiece, and he uses this knowledge well.

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