HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (Taika Waititi).101 minutes. Opens Friday (June 24). See listing. Rating: NNNN
In this lovely little study of bonding and healing in the New Zealand bush, a misfit kid (Julian Dennison) and a grumpy older bloke (Sam Neill) are forced to go on the run together after a series of misunderstandings launches a national manhunt.
After the goofy vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows, it feels like a radical departure for writer/director Taika Waititi – who gives himself a fun cameo as an inept reverend – but he’s really returning to the child’s-eye perspective of his 2010 drama Boy, mixing silly comic tangents with real insight into the deep sorrow that drives his heroes.
But the silly stuff’s great, too, especially once Waititi’s Shadows pal Rhys Darby turns up as an eccentric bushman.