I’ve been trying to start this write-up for about five minutes now, and have spent that whole time just passionately soft-singing to myself: “Majestical / We are the Wilderpeople / Skux life.”
Y’know what, large statement time: Taika Waititi could be my favorite filmmaker working today. This is because he regularly takes topics that are not inherently nice at all, and turns them into one of the funniest and sweetest things I have ever seen. If I were to tell you the premise and several subsequent developments of Hunt For the Wilderpeople, this movie would sound so dark and intense! But instead, somehow, we get the most kindhearted ride-or-die misfit buddy picture ever to come out of New Zealand. Likely the whole planet.
If you like any of the following things, this is the movie for you:
– What We Do In the Shadows
– found families
– screen legend Sam Neill being upstaged by a 13-year-old Māori boy
– a movie where female characters are allowed to be hilarious and odd and older than 35
– those parts of Moonrise Kingdom where an original choral song with bells would play over footage of trees
– footage of trees, especially ones in the New Zealand bush
– things that are good
I just really love this one very much, what can I say. It’s a triumph of weirdo heart. I can already tell it’s going into my small repertoire of under-the-radar gems I point-blank pitch to friends and occasional strangers. Only Lovers Left Alive. Over the Garden Wall. Hunt For the Wilderpeople.