Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★★

"I didn't choose the skuxx life, the skuxx life chose me."

Alright, let's get one thing out of the way. I didn't love the director's previous film "what we do in the shadows." I thought it was decent with a few good laughs but for the most part, pretty annoying. So I was a little bit skeptical about this one. Thankfully, this was a totally different movie and I absolutely loved it.

A troubled boy who has bounced around the foster care system, finally finds a place he calls home with a nice couple on a farm. Then, after a series of events, he finds himself and his foster uncle on the run from a nationwide manhunt.

So the kid in this movie is fantastic. I have no idea who he is or if he'll live past his 30s being that fat, but he has got some talent. His comedic timing was spot on and his acting wasn't too shabby either. He really is the key to this whole movie. If you don't like him then you're not going to like the movie. Sam Neill is great of course as the grumpy old man but it wouldn't have been much of a movie with him as the main character. Neill's wife was absolutely hilarious as well and I wish she could have had more screen time.

The story is pretty simple and straightforward as are most comedies, but it's so charming and the two leads are so enjoyable that you get sucked in for the whole ride. The movie tugs at your heartstrings at the right moments and had me burst out laughing constantly throughout the rest of it. The only nitpick that I could think of is that the kid is far too nice and likeable which didn't fit the "troublemaker" that they built him up as in the beginning. Seriously, in the first act, the child services lady goes through this long list of crimes that he's committed that got him kicked out of the other foster homes and yet all we see is this sweet and hilarious kid that frankly seems perfectly normal.

Bottom line, I really liked this movie. It was a fun, comedy adventure with a big heart at it's center. Everything in it worked for me. Even some of the very silly scenes that probably didn't need to be in there in regards to the story but worked, and kept me laughing. That's all you can ask for in these kind of movies. A good laugh and a great time and I had both.

Philip Carroll liked these reviews