Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★

These kind of zany ideas for a movie are where Taika Waititi succeeds the most for me. He can take a seemingly ludicrous premise and make something funny, something a bit sad, and a whole lot of touching by the end. 

I’m of the minority that borderline hated Thor: Ragnarok. It took the tempo and stylings of the previous two films and dashed them against the rocks in favor of Waititi’s wit and humor. Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but the shift in tonality was so completely jarring, and the humor rather unfunny that it irked me greatly. But for your What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, that style works perfectly, and it works really well in JoJo Rabbit too. 

I don’t really get why some consider this movie controversial. It doesn’t get you to sympathize with nazis, it's a farce, and by nature goofy. For those with a knowledge of WWII and how Germany ran things, you’ll get an extra kick about the way Waititi is able to poke and prod accurately at a time period and group of individuals. 

As always, Waititi’s humor is the selling point of the film, and the jokes land more than miss. In a comedy, if that is able to be the case, then your film has succeeded in my book. There’s a bunch of anachronisms, but they work and add to the humor. And the movie is highly, highly irreverent, which I loved. Sam Rockwell is fantastically funny, as is a lot of the supporting cast. Shockingly enough, Rebel Wilson’s character didn’t annoy the hell out of me, which was a nice change of pace. Also, if this movie could have played heavier into the gayness between Allie Allen and Sam Rockwell, it could have been an instant A+ in my book. 

With her short amount of screen time, Scarlett Johansson is pretty good too. The main kid who plays JoJo is really good, but for me, the star is Thomasin McKenzie. That girl is dynamite, and is definitely the next Saiorse Ronan, mark my words. Oh yeah, and Taika’s imaginary Hitler is really, really funny and well utilized. 

The story felt oddly similar to Life is Beautiful in a number of respects, mostly how it mixes the sad with the comedy. It works better in that film than in here, but it still is largely well executed. 

I wish more studios like Fox Searchlight and A24 existed, because they seem to be a part of a small minority of studios that actually want to bring interesting and unique visions of filmmakers to life. Disney would never make something like this, and from what I’ve heard, after their acquisition of Fox, wanted to just not release this movie. Stuff like this should be seen, because it is quality, and it is different. So basically, broken record at this point, but more original films like this, and less Marvel movies please.

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