This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
🩸🦇 william 🦇🩸’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
i was really looking forward to this, since i enjoyed taika waititi's work and i was very excited to give this a shot. but i'm left feeling disappointed at how messy and awkward this is.
my main problem with jojo rabbit is how it thinks it's enough of a political statement to say nazis were hateful because they were stupid, and while i'm not opposed to nazis being depicted as stupid in movies, it's an overdone trope and it can be more dangerous than it is helpful, especially as of right now. surely infantilizing nazis is going to help people take them and their threats seriously and try to fight against them instead of simply ignoring them. white supremacy is dangerous enough as it is without it being dismissed as some silly group that tries and fails to be evil. surely all nazis are like dorky sam rockwell and rebel wilson.
speaking of sam rockwell, i wish waititi had done something with his character. if he was so insistant in portraying a gay nazi, he could have added some actual criticism of how white gays choose whiteness over gayness and eventually turn on their own community, but all he does is throw some vague moments with another nazi so audiences can laugh at how faggy these nazis are. and then he basically tries to redeem rockwell at the end of the movie by making his character save jojo. it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. a gay nazi is still a gay nazi, a person who oversaw and participated in all of the cruelty of the german army and you can't try to redeem him in 5 minutes to make the message of your movie even more convoluted.
this movie is also violently unfunny. i seriously tried to watch this with a positive outlook but all i wanted was for it to end so i could stop hearing failed joke after failed joke. waititi is usually great at writing comedy so he was probably in over his head while working on this. the tonal shifts are incredibly sharp and not fitting, and this doesn't earn its emotional moments. i wish i felt something when jojo's mom died, or even during the ending, but it all felt painfully out of place and sometimes straight up disrespectul.
and to give this some credit, at least it had some performances going on for it. but that's not enough to redeem this shameful garbage fire. cannot wait for it to win tomorrow at the oscars because hollywood liberals need to pat themselves in the back.