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Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Ricky Baker is the Best

December 6, 2016



Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an absolute delight. Directed by Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows) the film is equal parts hilarious, heartfelt and bleak. There is a welcome dose of melancholy and humor that combine to make one of the most original films of 2016. It was a massive hit in New Zealand and Waititi has moved to the uber-green Marvel pastures to direct Thor: Ragnarok. After Boy, What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople I think Taika is one of the most exciting directors working today.


Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram account is great by the way.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople revolves around a troubled youth named Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) moving to the New Zealand bush to live with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill). Ricky has bounced around the New Zealand childcare system and keeps getting kicked out of his foster homes. So, the last resort is moving him to the country to live with the nice Bella and salty Hec. Ricky slowly begins to settle in, but due to some really sad circumstances he ends up lost in the wilderness with the grumpy Hec. The authorities fear Ricky was kidnapped, so a massive manhunt ensues and they are chased nonstop by an unhinged childcare authority named Paula (Rachel House). During the manhunt we are introduced to several oddball characters, grumpy hunters and a massive wild boar.

I really like how the movie is filled with genuine surprises and an insane amount of heart. Julian Dennison is an absolute delight and I love his reactions, dancing and need for something constant. My favorite scene revolves around Bella coming up with the best birthday song ever. It is such a nice moment and perfect encapsulates the film.


I’d love to say more about Hunt for the Wilderpeople but I don’t want to spoil anything. There are so many surprises and neat moments that normally don’t happen in average coming of age films. I can’t wait to watch it again and I bet I will keep picking up on fantastic character beats that I missed the first time around.

Watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople!

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