TL;DR – At times hilarious, at times incredible farcical, and at times a deeply moving look at the trials of friendship.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
For a long time, there has been this growing bubble of particular dry absurdist comedy coming out of New Zealand. You see it in the work of Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Rachel House, and also some of Peter Jackson’s early films. These are films that mix comedy and emotional understanding in equal measures. Whenever one of these movies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople (see review) or Hibiscus & Ruthless (see review) make it across the ditch I always really look forward to seeing it. Well, today we get the chance to look at a new entry into this wonderful genre The Breaker Upperers, from the comedic team of Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek.
TL;DR – Some of the best car chases I have seen, but this is coupled with a story that just doesn’t work all that well
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
So this is a bit of a perplexing film because there are some parts that really work, they pull you into this world, and you be sitting there having a ball watching it unfold. However, then the story, or lack of story, or some other factor rears its head and yanks you right out of the film. This creates a dissidence that on the one hand makes it difficult to review, but on the other makes the film interesting to dissect. So since I’m a cup half full kind of person, we will look at what worked before explore some of the film’s issues, however, before we dive into all that jazz, let’s set the scene.
TL;DR – A beautifully filmed story, with real depth and heart, a great cast, and more so since the Lord of the Rings makes the most out of its New Zealand setting
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Review – Wow, people had recommended ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ to me, but nothing prepared me for just how good it would be. It runs the gamut of emotions from humour to sadness, from absurdity to quiet contemplation, from grief to rejoicing. Wilderpeople tells the story of Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) who is a general problem child and on his last chance when he is sent out into the bush to live with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill). Bella is a loving woman who takes an immediate shine to Ricky even though Paula (Rachel House) the social worker insists he is a problem case. Hec is a more gruff character that seems to more tolerate than actual like Ricky. It is within this framework that we get the motivation for act two and three when people are propelled forward and have to fight for what they believe in.