Some of the Collider team is holed up at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival right now (including yours truly), and one of the most buzzed-about movies from the fest so far is What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi’s new film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, for which a teaser trailer is now available. The adventure comedy follows a troubled young boy named Ricky (Julian Dennison), who comes to find himself under the care of a cantankerous man named Hector (Sam Neill). Over the course of the film, the two set out on a hilarious, shenanigan-filled adventure in the New Zealand bush that’s filled with laughs, inventive storytelling, and a hefty dose of heart. The movie has shades of Pixar’s Up and the works of author Roald Dahl, as it follows the slightly fantastical journey of a very mismatched pair.
This teaser trailer does an incredible job of introducing the character of Ricky without giving away much of the film’s plot, and trust me when I say Dennison gives a starmaking performance as this particular juvenile delinquent. One may recognize Taititi’s name from recent headlines, and indeed his next project after Wilderpeople is Marvel’s superhero sequel Thor: Ragnarok. Watching Hunt for the Wilderpeople myself, I instantly understood why Marvel would want to have this guy at the helm of a buddy comedy-esque Thor sequel. Waititi proves that he has incredible range as a filmmaker, with an ability to tackle the absurd in such a way as to never forsake the humanity at the heart of the characters. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a crowd-pleaser in every possible way.