Film Review — New Zealand Director Taika Waititi Couples Comedy & Adventure In ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’
Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 4:42 PM
By Chelsea Cutler
An on-the-dark-side comedy with quirky slow pans that the New Zealanders are known for, writer/director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Boy, Eagle Vs. Shark) brings us Hunt for the Wilderpeople based on a Barry Crump book, Wild Pork and Watercress.
WARNING: If you’re associated with the animal activist group PETA, skip the movie. Even I had to look away a few times (knowing most animals weren’t real), but to be honest, I don’t get over killing spiders or accidentally stepping on a snail.
Waititi, in this obviously Wes Anderson-inspired film including chapter markers, couples comedy with adventure as Sam Neill and endearing 13-year-old Julian Dennison take on the New Zealand wild together resulting in a national manhunt.
The first 30 minutes of the film are quite charming and engaging, but it quickly begins to go downhill. Keeping true to the book, zainy characters are met along the way, but only for a blip on the screen which seems pointless and convoluted…and long.
Continuity was a slight problem in some scenes, but those inconsistencies, forgivingly, included a couple of adorable dogs.
Sam Neill and Julian Dennison are delightful on screen together, they have a chemistry that’ll put a smile on your face even when looking back on certain moments.
If you’re a die-hard Taika Waititi fan and/or appreciate Flight of the Conchords humor, you might be the perfect candidate to sit through and enjoy the entire 101 minutes of this film.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople opens June 23.