Directed By: Taika Waititi
Screenplay By: Taika Waititi
Cinematography By: Lachlan Milne
Starring: Sam Neill & Julian Dennison
Runtime: 101 minutes
Man this is a fun movie. There is a ton of Wes Anderson and Edgar Wright influence all over the screen and it’s exciting. This movie is fun, funny, heartfelt and takes place in the beautiful “Bush” of New Zealand.
I will say the first half is much stronger than the second but that doesn’t diminish the story or how enjoyable this movie is. However here comes the main problem with this film, the antagonist.
The movie is about a foster kid moving in with new foster parents. The antagonist is the social services woman who drops him off. Besides this being a rather standard antagonist for a foster care movie her constant presence is completely unnecessary. She becomes much more of a caricature than a character and it really sucks. It sucks because besides her this movie would almost be flawless (not as in being a perfect movie, but with almost nothing you could truly complain about).
See, Ricky and Hec have to hide in the “Bush” otherwise Ricky will be taken away from Hec and Hec will probably go to jail, but they are essentially running from the national guard of New Zealand. In no way shape or from would a social services lady be running this nationwide “manhunt”. It makes no sense, her character is over the top and isn’t needed. The stakes of Ricky being taken from Hec are high enough, we don’t need this stupid character doing a job she would never ever do.
That being said I still really enjoyed this movie and it’s definitely worth a watch. Some great style mixed with humor and heart with beautiful shots to boot.
God Bless America