Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Writer and Director Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople is like a quirky little combo of 'Walkabout' and 'Badlands'.
"We're offering ten thousand dollars to anyone who can capture them, dead or alive ... Oh. Alive. They should be alive."
So this is how Julian Dennison got a career in Hollywood, I guess I would like him a lot more in this if I thought his wannabe gangster act was actually funny. But what makes the story work is how well he plays off Sam Neill as the grumpy straight man. The movie is way too sweet not to enjoy, but I think it is my least favorite from Taika Waititi so far.
"I didn't choose the skuxx life, the skuxx life chose me."
(Quick Hits) ... Spoilers:
- That birthday song was a sweet moment to help Dennison's character buy into living with these new foster parents
- Wow, she really just died out of nowhere to get the plot going
- I guess a major part of the humor here is actually thinking these two stocky guys could stay on the run in the New Zealand wilderness for months while the authorities are after them
- Waititi's style of humor is so distinct, but at times it felt like it bogged down this story
- Really pretty camerawork when they suddenly appear on those mountain peaks
- That Dad really loves taking selfies
- That was one big ass CGI pig
- The lady villain was obnoxious, except for that whole Sarah Connor back and forth she has with Dennison
- Hey look it is the new Jumanji guy Rhys Darby as a bushman!
- There are plenty of similarities to 'Walkabout' and 'Badlands', but the most obvious one was the big vehicle chase at the end like in 'Badlands'
- So the hot water bladder represents feeling at home ... MESSAGE!
- The end of this movie feels pretty inconsequential compared to all the build up
- Wildebeest ... Wilderpeople .... hmmm whatever!
If you are up for a quirky father and son story about surviving in the wilderness, I suppose this is a fun enough one to go with.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål 🍻