Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

Jojo Rabbit is so damn good. It was exactly what I was hoping it’d be. The story is well told with great twists and the cast is top notch. The jokes, for the most part, land and the heartfelt moments are done just enough to give a weightiness to the film without sinking it. 

Taika Watiti clearly studied at the school of Wes Anderson, specifically Moonrise Kingdom, and came out with a film that curbs the style while adding significant substance.

I do have two quibbles with the movie though.

First up, the queer-coding of Sam Rockwell and Alfie Allen is a tired trope and those characters deserved better. It doesn’t add to either role and, in fact, softens the impact of the decisions that Rockwell’s Captain K makes later in the film. I just want this joke to die. It’s the Year of Our Lord 2019! 

The second and more egregious issue is Taika Watiti’s Hitler. I know! It’s seemingly the whole premise of the movie but bear with me. I think the concept of an imaginary friend detracts from the real story of the film, Jojo and Elsa, and the push to make Hitler a comedic character takes away a lot of the seriousness in the later scenes. I think it probably read amazing on the page, but on screen it falls flat. 

But again, small things for an overall fantastic film.

Recommendation?
Watch If: a dark comedy with heart about Hitler Youth sounds like a grand ol’ time.

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