CinemaBulb’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Rickytown! Population Ricky!" - Ricky Baker
Do you like the whimsical, oddball characteristics of Wes Anderson? How about the beat-by-beat dialog of Jean-Luc Godard? Because it's all here in this delightful little "children's" film starring Sam Neil as a ruff and gruff bushwhacker in the outbacks of New Zealand. And how he and his wife adopt a boy named Ricky who has been shuffled through foster homes his whole life. It seems like he has finally settled down in a place he can call home, then his foster mother dies unexpectedly and the only one left to take care of him is Neil's Hec character. Problem is, Hec doesn't like kids very much and Ricky isn't exactly the model student. To make matters worse they are fugitives of the law and are hiding In the unforgiving bush.
My oh my, I think New Zealander, Taika Waititi is becoming one of my new favorite directors. His vampire comedy from last year, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS was a huge surprise for me and HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is just as good, maybe even better. First off, where did Julian Dennison come from? This kid can act and he brings a hilariously charming attitude to Ricky. The perfect representation of kids today, naming his dog Tupac, dressing in baggy clothes with a hoody. Thinking he's the shit. It's a perfect contrast to Hec. Who grew up finding his own food and living the tough life. Ricky learns a lot from Hec, but Hec also learns a lot from Ricky and there lies the beauty of this film. That no matter, young or old, new school or old school people can find a way to share a particular moment together that will stay with them forever.
New Zealand is also beautiful. I mean, that is where they filmed Lord of the Rings so it makes sense. Waititi knows his country and he knows how to film it. With amazing landscape shots of dense forest and peaked mountain tops. Tranquility mixed with danger in representation of a big ass pig. The forest is only safe until it's not right? I love this delightful little piece of childhood escapism. Dare I say, show to your kids. I sure will whenever I have some. Or maybe I'll just be like Hec and live in the woods with my dog? Maybe I'll name him Tupac? We'll see.