Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit

Nothing about this works: the comedy is either “quirky” physical comedy or jokes so on the nose they’ve made a home for themselves in one, the drama is Green Book levels of generic heartfelt nonsense, and the tone leaps back and forth like the rabbit of the title. Scarlett Johansson plays a manic pixie dream mom here and her dialogue bears most of the movies flaws, but her performance certainly doesn’t do it any favors. There is no conflict in this world until there is, which means the movie can fuck around with its nonsense jokes for as long as it wants until it decides it wants to be taken seriously as a real movie. Every theme appears then disappears, but the ones that do stay around hardly get developed anyway so who cares. Is this a movie about how those who don’t look like what society wants them to look like are cast away? It sure says it’s about that a lot, but it doesn’t really say shit about that idea. The most disappointing thing here is how calculated it all feels; I’d at least respect it as a noble failure if every scene didn’t just feel like it was happening because it was the scene you were supposed to put here in a movie like this. It doesn’t want to go too far into the horrors of war, but it edges into it just enough to make me viscerally uncomfortable its entire runtime. I just couldn’t get over how cute this movie thought it was while showing images of children getting blown up and shot. The kids give good performances (and Sam Rockwell is solid), but everything else about this is an abject failure in my eyes. May it fade into obscurity quickly.

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