Jake Shelvey’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really did like it. As a film, it's more accomplished and well put-together than anything he's done before, and I love the dynamics between the characters (especially Jojo and Rosie - Scarlett really steals the show as far as I'm concerned).
Unfortunately, I did feel like this film could've been made by anyone. There was nothing exciting about it, and I feel like Waititi's usual brand of humour doesn't translate particularly well to satire. Just because we're invited to view the events of this film through a child's eyes, doesn't mean the satire has to come off as childish and one-dimensional. I rarely laughed, and that would be okay if there weren't so many setups and characters mined entirely for their comedic value (and little else). It's frustrating. This is a wonderfully original film that somehow fails to be exciting. This is a great step forward for a filmmaker that feels like a betrayal of what people have come to love about that very filmmaker. No one can continue to make tiny independent movies centred around their country forever - but you still kinda wish they did. Boy did this better, with less.
Despite all of this, I can't deny how moved I was by moments in this film. I think the tonal shift that comes about halfway through actually does work, and the change in mood is carried pretty consistently towards the end. I'm really glad I watched it, and I still look forward to seeing Taika grow as a filmmaker - even if he's (maybe) losing something along the way.