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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Family > Slice Of Life > New Zealand > Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016/Sony DVD)

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016/Sony DVD)

Picture: B Sound: C+ Extras: B Film: B+

Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is a ten year old outcast to society and has been in and out of the child welfare/foster care system and he finally finds a family he likes living with, in the outback with Aunt Bella (Rima Ti Wiata) and Uncle Hec (Sam Neill). When tragedy strikes, welfare threatens to separate Ricky with his Uncle Hec, Ricky decides to runaway with Uncle Hec in tow. Soon, it turns into national manhunt with hilarious results in Taika Waititi's Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016).

Ricky is also fat city boy who suddenly has a rude awakening to reality when he finds himself in the New Zealand outback. Luckily, it turns out his new folks are just what he needs, rude, crude and does anything they want (just like him). When their dear Aunt Bella suddenly passes away, Ricky and his Uncle Hec decide to hide out in the bushes (against Uncle Hec's wishes) till things quiet down. Uncle Hec is even mistaken as 'pervert' and for 'kidnapping' Ricky, they soon become the biggest targets in the outback hunted by both police, child welfare and bounty hunters.

This was a comical movie, like a cross between Crocodile Dundee and Home Alone. It was about a city kid learns there is a lot more to life than fast food and TV. This is not bad and family audiences should check it out.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image looks as good as it can for this format throughout, making one wish for Blu-ray, but the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is awkward and when we found out this was a Dolby Atmos 11.1 theatrical release, the mixdown issues make sense. Hope to hear it in lossless sound at some point. Extras include an audio commentary with director and actors, behind the scenes and blooper reel.

- Ricky Chiang


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