Tag: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Movie Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

We spent a family night at the movies a couple of weeks back, seeing the latest New Zealand blockbuster, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I thought we were the last people in the country to see it, because it’s already been playing cinemas for three months, so I was a little surprised to see the cinema was almost full.

Okay, so it only sat 70 people, but still …

Ricky Baker is a foster child, a kid who has grown up in the system and earned himself a reputation as a real bad egg. His placement with Aunt Bella is his last stop before juvie. So when the unthinkable happens he does what any normal teen would do: fakes his own death and runs off into the bush. Uncle Hector (aka Heck) is obliged to follow, because no responsible adult is going to leave a town kid lost in the bush. Especially not after he’s shown the level of bushcraft Ricky has shown.

One thing leads to another, and soon Ricky and Heck are on the run from the social worker, the police, the armed offenders squad (I suspect all of the armed offenders squad), intrepid hunters, a nutty conspiracy theorist, and some wild pigs.

It’s a toss-up as to who is the most dangerous, but I think Ricky wins. Or maybe the pigs.

Underneath the comedy and bluster and farce, Hunter for the Wilderpeople a tale of family. It’s based on a novel Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump, and stars Sam Neill, Rhys Darby and Julian Dennison.

Those of us who were alive in the eighties and remember Crumpy’s TV ads for Toyota enjoyed the vintage Toyota ute in the film, and the cameo from Scotty, Crumpy’s townie offsider.

Yes, he’s looking a bit older 🙂

It is one of those movies where the extended trailer tells you most of the story. Here it is:

Yes, the New Zealand bush really looks like that.

Yes, the prison at the end of the movie is a real prison.

No, we don’t all have guns. Although if we were all going to meet pigs like that, we’d need them.

No, the New Zealand police don’t usually carry weapons.

Although some highway patrols do, in case they come across escaped sheep endangering traffic. I found this out on last week’s episode of Highway Patrol.

And with that, I think I’ve given you enough of a picture of the “real” New Zealand for one week.