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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

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A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

Director:

Taika Waititi

Writers:

Taika Waititi (screenplay), Barry Crump (based on the book "Wild Pork and Watercress" written by) | 1 more credit »
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1,180 ( 14)
22 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... Hec
Julian Dennison ... Ricky
Rima Te Wiata ... Bella
Rachel House ... Paula
Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne ... Kahu
Oscar Kightley ... Andy
Stan Walker ... Ron
Mike Minogue Mike Minogue ... Joe
Cohen Holloway ... Hugh
Rhys Darby ... Psycho Sam
Troy Kingi ... TK
Taika Waititi ... Minister
Hamish Parkinson Hamish Parkinson ... Gavin
Stu Giles Stu Giles ... Sick Man
Lloyd Scott ... Tourist
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Storyline

Bella and Hector, two reclusive country folk, become foster parents to Ricky, a problem child from the city. After some adjustment, things go reasonably well. However, the death of Bella means Hector now has to look after Ricky, and they didn't get along too well. Moreover, her death causes Child Services to decide to send Ricky back to the orphanage. Ricky refuses to go back and runs away, ultimately sparking a national manhunt for him and Hector. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nature just got gangster


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including violent content, and for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 2016 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Lov na divljake See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,439, 26 June 2016

Gross USA:

$5,205,468

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,867,989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The magpie spotted in Ricky's room near the end is wearing a Collingwood Football Club jersey. See more »

Goofs

When Kahu asks Ricky about his mom, he picks the photograph he's got of her from his pocket, and it is unfolded. The shot cuts to Kahu receiving the photograph while being folded, and then unfolding it again. See more »

Quotes

Minister: You know, sometimes in life it seems like there's no way out. Like a sheep trapped in a maze designed by wolves.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits include sections headed "Wildercrew" and "Wildercast", with the latter including the subheading "Wilderdogs". See more »

Connections

References Game of Thrones (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ole Rugged Cross
(uncredited)
Written by George Bennard
"The Old Rugged Cross" is a popular hymn written in 1912 by evangelist and song-leader, George Bennard.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Uncle Hec and Ricky for the win
23 June 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Oak Cliff Film Festival 2016 Greetings again from the darkness. It just doesn't seem very many movies are designed to be funny to a wide range of viewers. There are raunchy comedies for taboo lovers. There are comedies for young kids. There are even Nicolas Cage movies for unintentional laughs. But writer/director Taika Waititi actually delivers a thoroughly entertaining movie that will generate laughs across multiple generations … it's quite simply, a fun time at the theatre.

It's based on the 1986 book "Wild Pork and Watercress" by Barry Crump, who himself is a bit of a legendary figure in New Zealand. The film begins with Child Protective Services (or whatever it's called in New Zealand) dropping off 12 year old Ricky Baker to his new foster family. Paula, the CPS agent, considers Ricky a lost cause and describes him as "a very bad egg" as she rattles off his list of previous rebellions to new foster mom Bella, who takes note of Ricky's heft with a couple of wisecracks – delivered with a well-meaning smile.

In a terrific screen introduction, "Uncle" Hec slowly comes into frame flashing a world class scowl and a wild boar slung over his shoulder. Ricky continues his habit of running away at night, but Bella slowly wins him over with her kindness, understanding and breakfast offerings. A tragic occurrence and fear of being shipped back to the juvenile center, has Ricky disappearing into the New Zealand bush. Soon enough Hec catches up and the two begin a relationship that is the core of the film.

Rima Te Wiata plays Bella as a perpetually optimistic woman with a sincere drive to help Ricky adjust and find some joy in life. Sam Neill plays Hec in full grumpy curmudgeon mode … a nice compliment to the extraordinary presence of Julian Dennison (Paper Planes) as Ricky. Ricky and Hec together are a hoot to watch. It's not simply the generational differences, but also a clash of one man who wants little more than to be left alone and a young boy who wants little more than to be noticed and cared about. It's not so much the direction of their relationship that surprises, but rather the manner in which it develops.

Director Waititi's next film is Thor: Ragnarok, so this makes us appreciate even more his pleasant little indie film that features not just colorful and interesting characters, but the beautiful landscape of the New Zealand bush … much of which we see during the humorous manhunt for Hec and Ricky. It's a farcical comedy with a dose of profundity and loads of adventure for two social misfits. Rachel House is pretty funny as the obsessed CPS worker, and Rhys Darby ("Flight of the Conchords") is downright hilarious as Psycho Sam. Watching criminial-wannabe Ricky literally count off his Haiku, leaves little doubt as to why this one has been such an "audience favorite" at multiple film festivals.


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