Propelled by a wild mix of absurdist humor and pathos, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an epic coming-of-age story directed by Taika Waititi (Boy) and based on the novel Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump.
Set in rural New Zealand, the story begins when Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a 13-year-old orphan—called a “bad egg” by his caseworker, Paula (Rachel House, The Dark Horse, Boy)—is brought to a farm to meet his new foster parents, the one couple left in all of New Zealand that agrees to take him. Bella (Rima Te Wiata) welcomes Ricky warmly, preparing a nice room and even writing a song for him. Her husband, Hector (Sam Neill, The Daughter), is more of a curmudgeon and tells Ricky to keep his distance.
When Bella collapses and dies one morning and the state informs Hector they are going to take Ricky back and send him to a juvenile detention facility until he is 18, Hector and Ricky head into the outback together. They end up travelling across the wild countryside for more than five months when a national manhunt ensues. As they are being chased by Paula, the local police and, eventually, the military, the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together in order to survive in this heartwarming adventure comedy.
“The photography is lush, the dialogue uproarious, and the crazy action sequences unforgettable.” (Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Long story short: Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a terrific movie and you should do whatever you can to see it.” (Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic)
“Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can’t believe your luck. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is such a film.” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)