Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★

No filmmaker has amassed more goodwill in recent memory than Taika Waititi. His proven track record shows an adeptness to imbue all of his films with his distinctly kiwi charm no matter the budget. So why was Jojo Rabbit such a soggy fart?

Let’s start with Waititi himself. You never shake the feeling that Taika was head over heels at the transgressive prospect of donning SS attire and portraying Hitler from the eyes of a young nazi. But his performance of intense gurning, mugging and corpsing into camera feels at once narcissistic and about as humorous as an early grave. Well constructed jokes are traded in for what feels like limp improv, all from an actor who had only himself to answer to on set. 

The younger actors perform admirably, despite being asked to straddle a tonal line thinner than my receding hair. The tone is less consistent than the viscosity of my excrement after binge drinking on curry night. 

Despite identifying as a self-insisted ‘anti-hate’ satire, its bite feels strangely toothless. Bizarre interjections of twee visual cues, and characters who act with all the dimension of a cartoon, greatly dull Jojo’s edge. Also since you’re reading this Taika, what exactly were you satirising? Like for real where is the satire here? Nazis? Is that it? You don’t muster the courage to suggest anything braver than Nazis are bad unless they’re not sometimes. 

There are small moments of inspiration that elicit a sharp exhale from the nostrils which can resemble the human response to finding something funny, but I could be mistaken for I haven’t felt a genuine human emotion in years. 

Two stars. Final note: I got second hand embarrassment that a filmmaker in the year of our Lord 2019 unironically used Bowie’s Heroes to cut to credits. 2014 called it wants it’s cliche back hahaha roasted