Ricky Baker and his new foster father Hec get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness and due to a major misunderstanding quickly become the subjects of a nationwide manhunt. Cue one of the most delightful, heart-warming and funny adventures to ever grace the cinema screen.
First off let’s take note of just how beautiful this film is as in the sets themselves. The mountains, forests and lakes of New Zealand are undeniably amazing and are used to great effect here, from the opening shots to the film’s most intimate moments the film always takes place in the most amazing of locations. For the films narrative to work you do need to feel as if the main characters are out in the wilderness and the amazing locations do a great job of immersing the viewer.
The films not just some tourism fuelled eye candy however, there is real soul and joy in this film. Both main characters Ricky and Hec have great chemistry together something most definitely needed to pull off its narrative beats. From their rocky start the relationship builds up slowly and realistically over the course of the entire film, watching this grand adventure take place as it inevitably spirals out of each other’s control is simply thrilling and to great credit of the film remained unpredictable. Supporting characters are also incredible playing key parts to the story without ever interfering with the strong tale between Hec and Ricky.
The film is filled with great humour such as its very tasteful use of pop culture references, some very heart felt and poignant moments and even has a few slices of exciting action. The film never gets bogged down with over doing certain aspects of its story, instead everything works and clicks in together and moves at a pitch perfect pace.
Not much can be said to fault the film really. A slightly out of place scene involving some poor CGI only slightly tarnishes the pacing. Personally, the New Zealand accents were often tricky to understand, this is not an attack on the film of course but most certainly something to be aware of.
Overall an incredible film. Exciting, refreshing, heartfelt, beautiful. If you’re looking for the kind of the film that really hits the spot you can’t go wrong with Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Could certainly do with a more catchy title).