About a week ago I was at The Showroom in Asbury Park and saw a preview for a quirky movie that sort of reminded me of the excellent 2014 film "The Grand Budapest Hotel". The audience, like me, were very captivated by this trailer yet at the end of the trailer we all said the same thing "What the heck is the name of that movie". None of us caught or saw the name..very weird
But was thrilled a week later to see that "The Hunt for the Wilderpeople" was playing at the Bow Tie in Red Bank (because the boy star Julian Dennison (who plays Ricky Baker was a rock star in the previews and instantly recognizable from the movie posters. Love how this film is broken into chapters
Dennison owns this film and steals every scene with his innocence and believability. He is an overweight young teen that has been through many foster homes and has a terrible reputation (though clearly a sweet nature). Set in New Zealand, through Child Services he is placed with back-woods childless family. New Mom Bella maybe the greatest Mom ever and at first light, new Dad Hec simply growls & shakes his head at Baker.
Tragedy strikes and not willing to back into the system escapes into the bush so he has not sent back. This kid is clearly nowhere remotely close to having any skill sets to survive in the wilderness yet quickly learns skills & is a sponge. For reasons unknown, Hec sets out after him and meet up in short.
So begins a wonderful, slowly building relationship where they become friends 1st and ever so quietly father and son (as they escape the law and survive in the bush).
They are plenty of good laughs and his movie as well as special moments. The casting of Dennison as Baker; the the outstanding Sam O'but the casting for this film which includes Sam Neill as Hec; and the hilarious "wanna be tough lady"/from Child services is priceless.
Quietly, along with Sing Street out a few months ago, the best independent movies of the year so far. Don't miss this kind, gentle, fun film. You have a teen 13 and up, bring along.
Unsure still have to reading my review, no problem. Go you You Tube and check out some of the trailers for "The Hunt for the Wilderpeople" - they do an excellent job of capturing the warmth and fun of the film along with endearing Mr. Dennison