You guys!!! I can’t believe it’s been more than THREE YEARS since I watched a Sam Neill Movie! I finally chose to break back into the Sam Neill Netflix Marathon game because I kept hearing how great Hunt for the Wilderpeople is from everyone (okay, everyone being Sam Neill himself, Brian Reinhart, and like every critic). Luckily, they were all right!
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
The Movie: Since this film is new, I’m not going to ruin it for you with spoilers in my summary like I have in past Sam Neill updates (pretty sure I was the last person in the world to see Hunt for Red October anyway). The gist is: Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is a bad egg whose rap sheet includes “disobedience, stealing, spitting, running away, throwing rocks, kicking stuff, loitering, and graffiti”. At 13, he’s sent by the New Zealand foster care system to live way out in the (beautiful) middle of nowhere with hog-shanking, fluffy sweater-wearing Bella and gruff man of few words Hector. He tries to run away into the bush, Hector gruffly and long-sufferingly follows him, and the rest is hilarious history.
The beautiful New Zealand wilderness and Julian Dennison’s comedic delivery were tied for my favorite parts. Plus, Ricky names his dog after Tupac, whom he describes as “just this really badass rapper and basically my best friend”. I can’t think of anything to criticize or make fun of–this movie was just really fucking great.
The Character: Of course Sam Neill is long-suffering bad ass Hector. He is perfect in every way. So much so that Brian Reinhart confessed “I was kinda definitely attracted to Bearded Old Sam Neill. That hair. Wow.” This is the same person who wouldn’t play Kill, Fuck, Marry with me about a mixed gender group of fictional characters because “I’m not gay.” So yeah, go see this movie, it might change how you feel about a lot of things.
Thing I Learned: People who get lost in the bush sometimes take off all their clothes through desperation and madness.
Should You Watch This?: A thousand times yes.