January 5, 2017

Hunt For the Wilderpeople (2016)

Sam Neill, Julian Dennison


I watch so many movies a year, it's hard to recall all of them. This one stands out.

Quirky in mostly a WTF kind of way, this indie film out of New Zealand centers on a boy and his foster father who lead authorities on a months-long national manhunt through the bush. It is a completely absurd plot, spurred on by an unrealistic villain that reminds me of Ms. Trumbull from Matilda, but it works. I don't know how, but it works.

Ricky, who is a bit of a troublemaker, refuses to go back into the foster system when his current foster mom dies. Instead, he sets off to live in the bush and reluctantly, his foster father follows him to ensure Ricky's safety. Along the way, they meet a slate of wacky characters and gain self-discovery, blah, blah, blah. It sounds formulaic, but the offbeat humor of it keeps the film from becoming too cheesy. It's like a cross between Bad Santa and About A Boy. But with guns. And some badass scenery.

Frankly, there's not much too to say about the movie because it's fairly straightforward. It's a simple plot, no special effects, and few characters. But it's also fun and easy to watch. And you can feel good about supporting a a movie with what appears to be a really low budget. Like small business shopping, but for film!

Final word: I think I just got my hipster card after watching this.

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