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Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

A young orphan and his very reluctant keeper "go bush" on the lam from authorities in "Hunt for the Wilderpeople." Based on a tale by the late, prolific New Zealand novelist Barry Crump, Taika Waititi's latest is a pleasing comedy-adventure that pays cheeky homage to key early works from that nation's first filmic renaissance--right down to casting the still-game Sam Neill, who was also a fugitive 40 years ago in Roger Donaldson's "Sleeping Dogs." Despite the humor, there's a cornier, more formulaic core here than in the writer-helmer's prior successes, "Boy" and "What We Do in the Shadows." That didn't stop the Orchard from grabbing North American rights and Focus World from taking international for what is sure to be another home-turf hit.

--Dennis Harvey

DIRECTORS: Taika Waititi

CAST: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Oscar Kightley, Cohen Holloway, Stan Walker, Mike Minogue, Rhys Darby, Troy Kingi, Taika Waititi, Hamish Parkinson, Stu Giles, Lloyd Scott

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Author:Harvey, Dennis
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Movie review
Date:Feb 3, 2016
Words:160
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