Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★½

Loads of fun!

Sam Neill and his young co-star Julian Dennison head up the small cast of this fanciful tale. The movie falls very comfortably into the Wes Anderson realm of the slightly silly and fantastic. We seem to be reassured, as viewers, that things will never be too terrible as events unfold.

The orphan boy Ricky is assigned to a new home, which consists of a loving lady and her weird mountain man husband. Eventually, it comes down to Ricky and his "uncle" Hec on the run from child services, the police, and bounty hunters.

Yet Ricky is basking in his "fame" and loves learning from Hec how to live off the land and survive in any circumstances. The lad was a bit messed up to begin with, but his new very earthy and straightforward role model (old codger Hec) sets him on a better path. Sort of.

Set in beautiful New Zealand, this "majestical" story is plenty funny. The odd pair agrees that they are "gangsta" by the end of the film. Splendid camera-work captures the breathtaking vistas and forests of this wild land.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a helluva lotta fun. And I loved (and recognized) the Lord of the Rings reference. Watch for it.

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