Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!
I got back from my Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition on Thursday, and it was pretty good. One of the things that kept me going were scenes from movies and songs from movies. And one film which is about being in the wilderness and camping(ish) is one of my favourites. I’d never heard of Hunt for the Wilderpeople but after watching it, it was one of my favourites.
Taika Waititi (probably most famous for this film and Thor: Ragnarok) directs the story of Ricky Baker, a mischievous orphan who is taken into care by foster parents Bella and Hector. Life is good for this newly-formed family until Bella passes away. Before she died, Bella told Ricky that she is a wilderperson, and she will be going back to where she came from when she dies. Ricky flees from home, in search of where Bella came from, but this leads to a national manhunt for Ricky and Hector.
Julian Dennison plays Ricky Baker, and I absolutely loved him in this role. For such a young actor, he was amazing. It’s a combination of his Kiwi accent and the way that he portrays Ricky Baker that not only proves Dennison’s incredible acting ability but also makes Ricky Baker one of my all-time favourite movie characters. Sam Neill played Uncle Hector and he was a bit of an unlikable character, but his character chemistry with Ricky was fantastic. One of the best things about this film was how the character chemistry between Ricky and Hector developed. I think it was executed neatly and it was great to see how it morphed from how it was at the start to what it ended up as. Neill played Hector with the perfect blend of a gruff and tough tone mixed with an element of sincerity. Auntie, or Bella, was played by Rima Te Wiata who, for the brief period of time that she was in the film for, was a great character who made Ricky’s life a little bit more enjoyable. She was a cheery person and the way that this was done by Te Wiata was very well done. Rachel House starred in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, her third film with Taika Waititi. She played Paula, a social worker who was in charge of ensuring Ricky found a home and wasn’t misbehaving. Her character made me laugh a few times and I liked the way that House delivered the act. My favourite characters were Ricky Baker, as for such a young actor the way Dennison played his role was outstanding, and his moments on screen had me laughing quite a bit. I also liked the Minister, played by Taika Waititi himself. Though he’s in the film for a short scene, his scene was absolutely hilarious. I had to rewind it and watch it again, as it was just too awesome. Click/tap here to see that scene for yourself!
To my surprise, the music in Hunt for the Wilderpeople was actually really good. There was a soundtrack from Moniker, which was not bad, but I felt could have been altered in places to better suit the movie. The best track from Moniker’s soundtrack for this film has to go to Milestone 2 (Skux Life), from the iconic scene where Ricky and Hector are found by the police and the army and Ricky drives them off. The music here was perfect for this scene it was used for and it was great fun to watch.
I think the storyline was a both good and bad. It was smart and great fun to watch it unravel, but I found myself a little bored in some places, and it seemed to jump around a bit too much for my liking. The ending was forgettable too, where I was able to remember other parts of the film aside from the ending. It’s not exactly what you want, especially in a film as fantastic as this.
There were plenty of amazing scenes, but there are a few that are better than the rest and are my favourites. I liked the little montage showing all the naughty things that Ricky has done because the way it was shot was awesome. Auntie’s funeral scene was also really good to watch. I know this sounds insensitive, but it was such a funny scene, especially with the whole ‘vegetables’ debate. The scene of Hector and Ricky running off into the wilderness with ‘Sinnerman’ playing in the back was great, as well as the scene where Ricky meets the girl and the Flake advert plays and the guy comes to take pictures with Ricky. I swear I almost died of laughter from that scene. Lastly, the whole scene of Ricky and Hector fleeing the cops with Milestone 2 blasting was awesome. It had so much energy and adrenaline and was just so amazing to watch.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople gets an 8.3/10 from me. It’s a beautifully told story with heart and humour that’s such great fun to watch, despite lacking in a few areas. I had a blast watching this film, and I can guarantee that you will love this film (and Ricky Baker) after watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Thanks for reading week 24 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews. Follow me on Instagram, @Ryans.Movie.Reviews, where I’m constantly posting the latest movie news, posters and behind the scenes pictures from the newest films, and scroll up to follow my WordPress where you’ll be notified whenever I post a new review.
Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week, where I’ll be posting two posts. One will be a film review, and the other will be a page with my favourite characters from movies and television shows. And for those readers wondering, next week’s review will be chick-flick comedy. I’ve been told to mix up my reviews a bit, so be prepared for something new that I’ve never done before.