Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) - SPOILER-FREE Review

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Directed by: Taika Waititi

Starring: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley, Rhys Darby

Runtime: 101 min

Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is a delinquent from the city that is being moved (again) to a new home with a new foster family: Uncle Hec (Sam Neill) and Aunt Bella (Rima Te Wiata). Hunt for the Wilderpeople tells the story about how Ricky and Hec managed to survive in the bush while escaping Child Welfare after something tragic happens. An adventure full of comedy and great directing skills awaits us!

Christmas is being great for me so far, I'm glad I left the good movies to watch around this time of the year! Humble performances, unbelievable direction by Taika Waititi (he's directing Thor: Ragnarok as well, so my expectations for that movie just increased a lot), beautiful soundtrack, amazing humor and a great message for kids these days.

I'll start with the cast: Sam Neill and Julian Dennison are incredible! They're the film's engine and without them, everything would crumble. Humble, honest and captivating, they give great performances that kept me invested in the plot and in their relationship, which is the main focus of this movie. They're so much different and the constant bickering between them made me want more and more from them. It gives a truly heartfelt message for kids that no matter how tough growing up is, you'll always have someone to help you along the way, even if they seem to be the complete opposite from you.

I love the supporting characters, especially Psycho Sam (Rhys Darby), I laughed so much with his scenes. I didn't like this guy that kept asking the kid for a selfie, he's super annoying, but thank God he's in the movie for only a couple of minutes. The partnership between Andy (Oscar Kightley) and Paula (Rachel House) is also very funny and, by the end, they're the main source of humor that Taika Waititi knew how to explore.

Talking about the man, what an amazing filmmaker! I'm so humbly grateful for his work, he controls this movie in such a wonderful and masterful way. The editing is spot on, the characters are greatly developed, the violent scenes are well shot for a NR-rated installment, the comedy is so good and the soundtrack is delightful. I have no flaws with his work, it's perfect!

The only issues I have with this film are the sometimes slow pacing and the forced ending. I don't believe that a certain character would behave in the manner that it is showed, it feels forced so that the movie can actually have an ending and it kind of ruined what could have been an A+.

Still, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is one of the best comedies of the year, it delivers a beautiful and heartfelt message through two honest performances, a perfect directing by Taika Waititi (don't forget this name!), great humor and a wonderful soundtrack.

|  A+  : 9.3-10 |  A : 8.7-9.2 |  A-  : 8.0-8.6 |  B+  : 7.3-7.9 |  B : 6.7-7.2 |  B-  : 6.0-6.6 ||  C+  : 5.3-5.9 |  C : 4.7-5.2 |  C-  : 4.0-4.6 |  D+  : 3.3-3.9 |  D : 2.7-3.2 |  D-  : 2.0-2.6 |  F : 0-1.9 |

| A+ : 9.3-10 | A: 8.7-9.2 | A- : 8.0-8.6 | B+ : 7.3-7.9 | B: 6.7-7.2 | B- : 6.0-6.6 || C+ : 5.3-5.9 | C: 4.7-5.2 | C- : 4.0-4.6 | D+ : 3.3-3.9 | D: 2.7-3.2 | D- : 2.0-2.6 | F: 0-1.9 |