Taika Waititi has demonstrated time and time again how charmingly funny he is both in front and behind the camera. He made one of the funniest mockumentaries of recent years with What We Do in the Shadows and now he presents us with one of the most fun adventures of recent memory. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is purely delightful. Waititi is enabled to displayed all his talents on screen, showcasing a bit of his dramatic touch as well obviously playing around with his particular style of comedy. He does use a lot of that typical New Zealand dry humor and sarcastic wit, but Waititi also explores his range in playing with more absurd branches of comedy as well with the idea of comedy in the framing of certain shots. Like he’s done in the past, Waititi finds a way to transmit his self into his work in a pleasantly affecting way that ends up adding more to the story.
The basic plot of Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a real bad egg, and his Uncle Hec (Sam Neil) as they’re caught on an adventure that goes out of control to a point where the entire nation has their eyes on them. But instead of fixating on the dynamic duos’ hilariously entertaining adventures in the New Zealand bush, Waititi also decides to use the basis of that as a way to comment on the very absurdity of how the media of such a small nation has blown this all out of proportion to a point where that’s just ridiculous.
As for the actors I’ve mentioned, both Dennison and Neil, they’re freakin’ fantastic. Their chemistry is off the charts and the amount of fun they’re having brings a smile to your face every-time. Honestly, this might be Sam Neil’s best work since Jurassic Park, he’s truly remarkable in this film, working seamlessly with Waititi’s special brand of comedy. And if Dennison continues working on such cool projects as these, he’s got a long future ahead of him. Dennison brings life to such a fun character by infusing all of his energy into his acting, dancing an delivering such solid dialogue from Waititi.
That being said, this isn’t my favorite Waititi film just because of some pacing issues that the film struggles with. But if that’s my only issue with otherwise marvelous feature film, that’s nothing to really worry about because I guarantee you’ll have a lot fun will viewing this movie. Its honestly just infectiously fun and charming, like the adventure side of Moonrise Kingdom mixed in with the best of Jared Hess’s comedic abilities directed by Taika Waititi, I mean how could you not love anything in that mixture. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an absurdly fun film that takes on an adventure for the ages.