Taika Waititi’s latest film follows the story of a young boy named Ricky Baker (played by Julian Dennison), who is adopted by his long-lost aunt and uncle (Rima Te Wiata and a superb Sam Neill). As he adapts to his new surroundings, he learns about the bonds of family, the thrill of adventure, and the meaning of life.
The acting is fantastic. Julian Dennison brings a naivety and innocence that makes Ricky endearing, even when he’s acting a little bratty. Sam Neill is the standout, though. At first appearing extremely brusque and gruff, different layers of his personality shine through as the film progresses.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is gorgeously shot, and the Australian bush is stunning. Some viewers may find the film’s pacing to be an issue, but I personally enjoyed the chapter set-up and the natural flow. This is a slow-paced but intriguing character study that manages to hit all of the feels.
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