Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ★★★★

Taika at his technical best, a mixture of genre movements are in full swing here, shifting from family drama to fugitive blockbuster, eventually bowing with an expertly parodied western stand off. 

In all its Edgar Wright-esque slickness, Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a generously gifted water bottle of warmth, an ode to the wide variety of cinema that inspired it. Frenetic camera movements and crash-zooms pair seamlessly with quick-witted dialogue (not all of which lands), and you simply can’t help but be sucked in by its charm. Lachlan Milne’s cinematography is superb, tilting mountains at gravity-defying angles, the widescreen format scoping the New Zealand bush as if it were the Amazon jungle. 

Waititi’s storytelling abilities aren’t used to the success his earlier film Boy achieves, and the comical hysteria of What We Do In The Shadows certainly isn’t matched, but the performances help iron out the more overwritten characters. Julian Dennison gives a comedic child performance which can only be described as gangster, and at one highpoint of suspense a sufficiently aged scuffed-up Sam Neil grabs his rifle and says the words ‘Shit just got real.’ There’s not a whole lot in the world that beats that. Majestical.

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