Social worker Paula (House) delivers rebellious orphan Ricky (Dennison) to a remote New Zealand farm. Ricky is warmly taken in by “Auntie” Bella (Wiata) and her taciturn husband Hec (Neill). When tragedy strikes, Ricky flees into the bush with his dog Tupac. Hec goes in pursuit, but the overzealous Paula is convinced that Hec has actually kidnapped the young boy. The two fugitives become the object of a nationwide manhunt.
Adapted from a book by New Zealand novelist Barry Crump, director Waititi brings his own inspired, off-kilter touch to the screenplay. Undermining conventions of the odd-couple/outlaws on the run genre, the comedy ranges from broad slapstick to subtle absurdity. Dennison captures the cheeky ebullience of the hip-hop loving Ricky, and veteran Neill has not had a juicier role in ages. Beautiful locations set the backdrop to this winsome adventure comedy, not to be missed.