I took my 13 year old son, Brad, to the movies today and let him choose what we saw. Brad said he had seen the trailer for Hunt for the Wilderpeople and he’d really like to see it. I’d never heard of this movie and didn’t know anything about it, but I’m really glad Brad chose it. This isn’t a Hollywood flick, so it’s very different to many mainstream movies, but that can be refreshing.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople was filmed in New Zealand, with some actors having a strong Kiwi accent. (My wife is from NZ, so that twang is nothing new…eh bro!) The story centres around an orphan kid, called Ricky, who is placed with foster parents living on a remote property. He forms a good relationship with his foster Mum, but when she dies Ricky runs away into the bush. His foster Dad gets injured trying to bring him home and they end spending weeks in the bush.
When they see a “Missing / Wanted” poster for themselves, the old man thinks he’s in trouble and Ricky doesn’t want to go back into government care, so they spend months evading those looking for them, and form an amazing relationship.
Ricky calls themselves the “Wilderpeople”, roaming for thousands of miles like the wilderbeast of the jungle.
Even though I said this isn’t a Hollywood style movie, this climax is a giant car chase, reminiscent of many blockbusters, as our heroes try to escape in and old ute borrowed from a hermit they met called “Crazy Sam”.
Brad and I both enjoyed Hunt for the Wilderpeople and recommend it to all but the youngest audience (it’s rated PG).
It’s also got good reviews online; an IMDb review calls it “Hugely enjoyable comedy adventure with serious undertones” and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a “100% fresh” rating. At 101 minutes, this movie could have been a little shorter, but we loved it.