Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★½

“It’s definitely not a good time to be a Nazi”

This woefully misguided take on Hitler’s youth is an anti-hate satire nowhere near as audacious as it thinks it is. With comedy that never lands and drama that never hits you in the feels like it wants to, Waititi just can’t seem to strike a balance between them. Following a conventional storyline that includes good-ole Nazi redemption, i found this film to be a careless satire that doesn’t tackle any deep elements of the time; rather, taking the time to show off Waititi’s signature cartoonish humor instead. The moments of drama are injected abruptly throughout the film, never feeling earned and are just obvious examples of cheap sentimentality. I can see what Taika was trying to do with this film. He wanted a daring dramedy that really made you question: should I be laughing at this? The problem is the material isn’t daring and the jokes aren’t shocking. I wanted this film to be more than a goofy Nazi comedy. I wanted it to tackle the horrors and emotions that come with war while also finding the right spots to implement humor. But unfortunately, that’s a hard balance to accomplish, and Jojo Rabbit suffers because of that. There’s no doubt that its two leads, Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie, have a bright future ahead of them. They’re the shining stars of this uneven film and really bring humanity in Taika’s world of caricatures. Unfortunately, there’s only a little bit that “likable” leads can bring to a simplistic and unfocused film like this one.

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