Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 28-Sep-2016

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Interviews-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 97
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Taika Waititi

Madman Entertainment
Starring Sam Neill
Julian Dennison

Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Taika Waititi is a NZ based comic, writer, actor and director who has been responsible for a string of films in New Zealand which have found a great balance between comedy and heartfelt emotion. I reviewed his previous feature film, What We Do in the Shadows here , which was a very funny mockumentary based around the idea of four vampires living in a share house in Wellington. His two previous feature films were popular in New Zealand and internationally, being Boy & Eagle Vs Shark. This is his latest film and his most successful to date, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Again it takes the path of a heartfelt comedy, this time focused on a young teenager, Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) who has been in trouble with the law and has been in and out of juvenile detention and foster homes. As a last ditch attempt to find somewhere for him to live, his child protection case worker, Paula (the hilariously deadpan, Rachel House) takes him to a house in the New Zealand bush, to live with a woman, Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and her bushman de-facto, Hec (Sam Neill). Initially Ricky resists but soon starts to warm to the wonderful Bella and her grumpy partner, Hec. Just as he starts to settle in though, a tragedy results in him and Hec out in the bush, with Hec incapacitated and no way for them to get out. Whilst they are in the bush, the police and child services decide that Hec has kidnapped the boy for nefarious purposes. Soon a manhunt is underway trying to catch them and bring them in. Hilarity and touching moments ensue as Hec and Ricky try to escape the law.

    This is a wonderful film, comedy suitable for family watching (despite some gory hunting scenes) but also extremely well written and acted resulting in a touching and heartfelt cinematic joy. Julian Dennison is a natural and does a wonderful job as Ricky Baker, a boy who discovers the joys and sadness of being in a family and realises there is more to life than crime. Sam Neill is great as the grumpy Hec and the supporting cast is peppered with great performances including Rachel House, Rima Te Wiata, Oscar Kightley as thick policeman Andy, Taika himself in a cameo as an oddball priest and the always hilarious Rhys Darby as Psycho Sam ("We need to find saddles for rabbits!"). New Zealand provides the usual beautiful backdrop for the story without using the same areas which you would recognise from other films. The cinematography is wonderful, the music adds to the charms of the show and the dialogue is excellent especially in the hilarious cabin scene where Hec and Ricky are found by a group of hunters. The film is based on a book by New Zealand author, Barry Crump who has a truck named after him in the film by Psycho Sam. Based on his wonderful work here and in previous films, Taika has been given the job of directing the next Thor film which he has described as "Like the first two but with more jokes". Can't wait!

    A fantastic film which needs to be seen!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good for DVD with good sharpness, great colour and good shadow detail. There is some minor blocking during fast motion and occasional light grain but only as you would expect in a DVD. Technically it is 16x9 enhanced at 2.35:1 which is the OAR.

    There are English subtitles available which are clear and easy to read. There are some minor mistakes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio is also really good For DVD. The audio is English Dolby Digital 5.1 or there is a 2.0 option. This is a surprisingly enveloping soundtrack for a DVD with clear dialogue, great sounding music, good surround effects and a well used subwoofer for music, crashes and helicopters etc. I am sure a Blu-ray would be an improvement but for a DVD this is very acceptable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    A few decent extras.


    The menu features music.

Featurette (3:15)

    A light promo piece but fun regardless.

Interviews (5:23, 3:09, 2:51, 2:56, 0:23, 2:58, 0:55, 1:25)

    A set of EPK style interviews with on-screen questions. Includes Taika Waititi, Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rhys Darby, Stan Walker, Rima Te Wiata, Barry Crump's Literary Agent and Taika talking about Crump. They are all worthwhile if a little light. Darby is the highlight.

Bloopers (2:20)

    Funny bloopers which is always good for a change.

Audio Commentary - Taika Waititi, Sam Neill, Julian Dennison

    Although only together virtually via skype, this is an engaging commentary with Neill leaving halfway through just after Dennison joins. They discuss trivia, shooting, challenges, haikus, possum plucking, the Ricky Baker song, Taika's cameo and more. It is a bit random at times but fun throughout.

Theatrical Trailer (2:28)

Reversible Slick

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The US version is similar, however, does not include the interviews which are worthwhile. Win to Region 4.


    Funny and heartfelt, exciting and joyous. What more do you need? Taika Waititi does it again.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, October 24, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Part of the joke with the truck... - REPLY POSTED