Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★

A fun Taika Waititi comedy, although nothing exceptional or stand-out in terms of World War II comedies. I don't have much to say about Jojo Rabbit as a whole; it's a cute film that clicked well with me in terms of humor, but I can completely understand why some wouldn't find much to laugh at here. Quirky yet dark comedies appeal to me, but they're not for everyone. I wouldn't necessarily call Jojo Rabbit much of a satire, as it's more along the lines of his usual comedies. As someone who enjoys Taiki Waititi's humor, I'm not particularly bothered by this; however, plenty of other reviewers have taken issue with the lack of any original satire, which I consider justified even if I'm not a part of that camp.

While Jojo Rabbit works very well in its comedic moments, especially when it's in darker territory, the shifts from pure comedy to deathly serious didn't help any of the dramatic moments. It's a mixture of the abrupt transition and the dissonance from the characters that cause this. One of the funniest scenes for me was near the beginning, where Jojo accidentally blows himself up (told you my sense of humor was dark). However, immediately following that up with an abruptly serious hospital scene didn't work well. All the audience knows about him by this point is his adoration toward the Nazi regime, so having the film try to sympathize with him despite how obvious it is that he'll be alright was a strange choice. I know he's a kid, but come on. The sudden shift of tones happened multiple times throughout, and it doesn't work during any of them.

The only other issue that repeatedly bothered me was the inconsistent accents (except McKenzie), which took me out of the experience multiple times. As someone familiar with people with German accents, none of them talk this way; and if it's an exaggeration for comedic effect, it doesn't work. As shown in other films like The Death of Stalin, sometimes it's better and funnier when the actors don't even try. Granted, the acting outside of that was serviceable (again except McKenzie, she's excellent) from a comedic and emotive standpoint. I wouldn't consider any of it exceptional; even so, with a kid being the lead, it could've been a lot worse too.

Jojo Rabbit is a decent film overall, and one that doesn't excel in its technical aspects nor does it thoroughly drop the ball. It's an energetic and fun film that I enjoyed seeing, even if I don't plan on revisiting it anytime soon. While every film he makes isn't on the same level as the other, Taika Waititi knows how to give the audience an enjoyable time. He's a filmmaker I respect and one that I can trust with creating entertaining films, even if I don't consider anything in his filmography a masterpiece. Not much else to say, Jojo Rabbit's comedy appealed to me very well, and I hope Waititi makes more independent projects in the future.

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