The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) Review



Time: 101 minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Violence, coarse language, some scenes may disturb young children
Sam Neill as Uncle Hec
Julian Dennison as Ricky
Director: Taika Waititi

A boy (Julian Dennison) and his foster father (Sam Neill) become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness.

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The Hunt for the Wilderpeople was a movie I wanted to check out for a long time. Being a New Zealander, it’s impossible not to hear about this movie, but I only saw the movie recently. And I ended up loving it, this is one of the most entertaining movies of 2016 and one of the best of the year. The cast, writing, direction, editing, everything added together to make such an entertaining and overall great movie.


The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is such a different film, it’s impossible to compare this film to anything else. It’s very easy to connect to and love the main characters, all the characters are very memorable. Also, this movie is hilarious. Like, I didn’t expect to find the movie this funny. The humour is a little different from most films (I can’t describe it, you’ll just have to see it for yourself), which does separate it from other comedies. Most of the jokes in the film, I found hilarious. At the same time though, this movie handled the dramatic aspects very well, you actually do care what’s going on, it’s not just a complete comedy from start to finish. One thing I will say is that there were a few times where the transition from comedy to drama or vice versa didn’t really work as well, and felt a little jarring (unless that was intentional). Aside from that, I don’t have really a lot of problems with this movie.


Julian Dennison was great in this movie, I hope he gets more work after this because he showed here that he’s got a lot of talent. He had excellent comedic timing and was really entertaining. Sam Neil also gives one of his best performances in a while. Both Julian Dennison and Sam Neill play off each other so well, they play completely different characters and the contrast really works. They were both hilarious but at the same time they could connect to each other very well, so it was easy to buy them as their characters. The supporting cast were also so effective and memorable. There are a whole lot of cameos in the film, which I won’t spoil for those who don’t know about them yet, I’ll just say that they really worked. The movie is full of memorable characters, and the actors played them very well.


Taika Waititi wasn’t just great at writing this movie, he was fantastic at the direction as well. The style of this movie is great, much of that is due to the editing, which was also perfect, and helped the movie to be more effective, especially when it came to the comedy. Also, there is a thrilling car chase scene at the end of the film which was incredible. The cinematography was fantastic, the locations used were also great and beautiful, you could really buy that they were there in the bushes. The soundtrack also, fantastic.


I wasn’t sure about how I would feel about The Hunt for the Wilderpeople after hearing so much about it for so long, but I ended up loving it. The acting was great (particularly from main leads Julian Dennison and Sam Neill), the direction from Taika Waititi was fantastic, his writing was on point, hilarious and entertaining from start to finish, just everything fell nicely into place. Check the film out when you can, it’s a very different movie from most, and it’s really one of the best films of the year.

2 thoughts on “The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) Review

  1. Pingback: Top 15 Best Movies of 2016 | YoungCinemaBuffs

  2. Pingback: Top 15 Best Movies of 2016 | The Cinema Critic

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