Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★

Jojo Rabbit is a comedic satire of Nazi Germany in the same spirit as some of Mel Brooks’s best work. 

Admittedly, I was nervous to watch this. Do I really wanna watch a movie about a kid who has Hitler as an imaginary friend? Is this ok to joke about?

This period in time has been covered in film so many times, what does director Taika Waititi have to say that hasn’t been said? Nazis are bad, doesn’t take a movie to tell you that. So, why does this exist?

Well, the movie’s main message is that no one is born with hatred in their heart. It is something that is learned, and reflected in the brainwashed Hitler youth. 

Jojo is taught this lesson by his mother Scarlett Johansson, an ally of the Jews who is just trying to keep her child alive by sending him to Nazi school. Johansson is great in this role.

This is a very funny movie. Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson are funny as Jojo’s instructors, with plenty of tongue in cheek moments. Waititi is also funny as Hitler, even if it was a little weird at times. 

The movie takes a turn away from the satire and becomes a full-fledged drama in the third act, and I thought this was a good choice to really hammer down the message and to show this movie isn’t just for laughs. 

If I had one gripe, and it’s a big one, why did Jojo have to have a crush on the Jewish girl he befriends to feel the need to save her? For that to be his “lightbulb” moment that he doesn’t hate Jews seemed a little outdated to me. 

Overall, a great satire with a good message, even if some parts of the message could’ve been more nuanced.