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Wilderpeople's 'jerky ride': US review

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/06/2016

Taika Waititi's local hit Hunt for the Wilderpeople has been described as a "jerky ride which eventually goes out in a blaze of farce" ahead of its general release in the United States.

New Zealand audiences have been lapping up Waititi's adaption of Barry Crump's novel Wild Pork and Watercress, but may hit different notes in the US.

The movie teeters - clumsily but charmingly - between fantasy and reality, says Associated Press film writer Jake Coyle.

It's a jerky ride in Waititi's hands but the "grab bag of styles" also supplies Wilderpeople with its off-kilter energy.

"It's nimble enough to never be quite pinned down by its familiar concept before eventually going out in a blaze of farce.

"Wilderpeople is ultimately winning, like all buddy comedies, because of the chemistry of its leads."

Sam Neill, 68, and Julian Dennison, 13, are the unlikely protagonist pairing.

Coyle also notes Waititi being chosen to direct Marvel's massive production Thor: Ragnarok.

"As a test case of an indie director making a giant leap in scale, it should be interesting," he said.

"If Waititi can handle the Norse god with the same low-key modesty that he's approached vampires and outlaws, Marvel may yet be brought down to size."

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