Run time: 101 mins
Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a chubby hip-hop loving pre-teen who’s been moved from home to home for most of his 13 years. Described by his child-services worker, Paula (Rachel House) as a ‘very bad egg’, his new foster placement is his last chance before being sent to juvenile lockup. Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill) a self-sustaining old-ish couple living in a remote clearing at the edge of the bush, become Ricky’s guardians and, despite a slightly rocky start, their domestic situation seems promising. When tragedy strikes, Ricky escapes into the bush to avoid the inevitable return to the public system. Fortunately, his cantankerous “Uncle Hec” finds him hungry and cold in the wilderness. Then the real adventure begins. There’s Haiku poetry from Ricky who turns out to be the right foil for Hac’s laconic outdoorsman (and Neill’s great role). Director Taika Waltiti’s last film was the truly fabulously silly vampire comedy What We Do In The Shadows with the Flight of the Conchords boys “It’s formulaic at heart but has a sweet predictable sense of humour and a nice way with words…” (ST Culture) (review Heather Graves) It’s fabulous. Don’t miss.