The Taika Waititi Universe: 5 Films That Are Essential Viewing for Fans

The Taika Waititi Universe: 5 Films That Are Essential Viewing for Fans
The many faces of Taika Waititi. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia
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Nobody does movies like Taika Waititi, one of the greatest directors in the game at the moment.

The zany New Zealand director has been on a roll for the past decade, creating some incredible films from lesser-known indie flicks to high-budget MCU movies. You may know him from the best Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok (not up for debate) but it’s time for you to enter the Waititi-verse.

I present to you: five Waititi movies that you absolutely need to watch.

5 Taika Waititi films you must see

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

This was the movie that introduced me to the Waititi way. Starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a touching adventure story about a young, rebellious boy and his foster uncle. The two go missing in the New Zealand bush and end up as a father-son duo.

It’s primarily a feel-good comedy with some sad bits, but ultimately it’s an incredible New Zealand film and a terrific taster for Waititi’s films.

You can stream Hunt for the Wilderpeople on SBS On Demand.

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Jojo Rabbit is not your typical World War II film. A comedy-drama about a young boy named Jojo and his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler, Jojo Rabbit is set in a German town in the final days of WWII, going into difficult themes about becoming a man and extremism.

It’s a weird comedy, but Waititi handles it quite well. Starring Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson and Taika Waititi (as imaginary Adolf), this is a classic Waititi adventure.

You can stream Jojo Rabbit on Disney+.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Though What We Do in the Shadows was recently turned into an HBO Max series (you can watch it on Binge) it was originally a movie directed by (and starred) Taika Waititi.

What We Do in the Shadows is a comedy about a bunch of vampire housemates in Wellington. It’s filmed like a documentary and goes into how vampires deal with chores, rent and each other.

This flick is incredible, starring Jemaine Clement, Cori Gonzales-Macuer and Jonny Brug (alongside the director himself). Another Waititi classic.

You can watch What We Do in the Shadows on Stan.

Boy (2010)

Boy is often thought of as the flick that started Waititi’s movie directing career (even though it was technically Eagle vs Shark in 2007), following a boy named Boy in 1984.

Boy’s a giant Michael Jackson fan who is reconnecting with his criminal father, having just returned to his life after being gone for several years.

It’s another Waititi feel-good comedy, starring James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu, Moerangi Tihore and, of course, Taika Waititi as the father.

You can stream Boy on Stan.

Thor: Ragnarok (2018)

Of course, we’re going to recommend Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi’s first “mainstream” film and his first appearance in the MCU. Ragnarok is the third film in the Thor series, tonally completely different from the other superhero flicks.

Thor: Ragnarok is more Waititi than Marvel, which is what makes it so special. It’s a comedy through and through that refuses to take its superhero subject matter seriously at any point; a breath of fresh air following the dull Thor movies that preceded it. Waititi flipped the script and created the best Marvel movie (oh, and he’s back for the sequel, next week).

Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson and, of course, Taika Waititi.

You can watch Thor: Ragnarok on Disney+.

Still after that Waititi vibe?

You should definitely check out Taika Waititi’s HBO Max show Our Flag Means Death and Wellington Paranormal.

Happy Waititi-ing. Thor: Love and Thunder releases on July 6.