Monday, November 30, 2020

Movie Monday: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

We were scrolling through Netflix and Amazon this weekend, as one does, searching for a movie we both wanted to see. There were plenty I was interested in that my husband wasn't, neither of us wanted anything too dark, and it seemed like we'd already seen all "the good ones." Then my husband suggested Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which I had scrolled right past earlier; he'd read about it online and thought it sounded good. What a great choice! We both loved this funny, warm-hearted adventure set in New Zealand.

As the movie opens, a social worker named Paula, played by Rachel House, is delivering an overweight young teen boy named Ricky, played by Julian Dennison, to a new home in a remote, rural area. Bella, played by Rima de Wiata, welcomes Ricky warmly, in spite of the long string of previous problems that Paula recites to her. Hec, played by Sam Neill, also lives there, and Bella tells Ricky he can call them Auntie and Uncle, if he wants to. After being shuffled around for years and generally unwanted, Ricky is understandably doubting and distrustful. He even tries to run away, but Bella's warmth and kindness eventually win him over. Then tragedy hits, and through a series of events, Ricky ends up in the bush (wilderness) with Hec, who's been injured. The two of them work together to make a camp for themselves until Hec's ankle heals enough that they can walk back home. When they're on the move again, though, six weeks later, they discover that there is a national manhunt going on ... to find the two of them! As the authorities have completely misunderstood their absence and want to take them both into custody, the pair decide to just stay out there. Many adventures follow!

We loved absolutely everything about this unique movie! The pairing of a difficult teen and a grumpy old man might seem a bit trite, but it is wholly original here, with the actors playing Hec and Ricky both doing an outstanding job in their roles. The more time they spend together alone, the closer the two misfits become, as they help each other to heal. This is truly an adventure movie, action-packed with plenty of suspense, but there is wonderful humor woven into every scene and a warmth that made us both smile throughout the film. I think this is my favorite movie of the year! We both laughed and enjoyed every moment of this uplifting movie. I think we could all use a little Ricky and Hec right now.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is currently available on Netflix or to rent on Amazon, starting at $2.99 (or $6.99 to own) - definitely worth it!

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