Hunt for the Wilderpeople makes Australian reviewer 'wish he was a Kiwi'
Film Critic John McDonald probably didn't mean to add a footnote to the Aussie/Kiwi battle, but that's what he's done with his review of Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
We're more used to them stealing our music (Split Enz, Crowded House) and our actors (Sam Neill, Russell, Crowe) and even our food (pavlovas are ours!), but McDonald's opening gambit is almost enough to redress the balance:
"I've never wished I was a New Zealander except in the middle of one of Taika Waititi's movies," the Australian Financial Review writer said.
"There's so much local colour, so many gags that only a Kiwi would understand, that I always feel I'm missing something."
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He goes on to rib Peter Jackson, superheroes - Waititi's next project is Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel Studios - and even our child welfare services.
But his parting shot is one in the arm for Kiwi film lovers and lovers of Kiwi film:
"It's a coming-of-age tale for Ricky and a second childhood for Hec," writes McDonald.
"For New Zealand it's another very creditable comedy that makes one wonder why our neighbours have so much to laugh about while Australian cinema remains steeped in Stygian gloom.
"Perhaps the Aotearoans save all their seriousness for the rugby field."
Ka pai, McDonald. Ka pai.
Read the full review in the Australian Financial Review here.