Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★

38

I was morally outraged about the idea of Jojo Rabbit from the beginning. I always understood that Taika Waititi is Jewish and so I guess I’d prefer he make this movie over someone like, I don’t know, Dinesh D’Souza. I remain pretty outraged, but it’s not so much that it’s a Nazi satire. I mean, that’s been done well before. It wouldn’t have been impossible to make Jojo Rabbit a good movie I suppose. It’s not so much either that Waititi decided to make the movie as heartfelt as he did. With a gun to my head I’d say that, looking through tunnel vision of course, he pulls off both of these goals fine. It’s not even the fact that the movie is so jokey about a serious subject. That’s what a satire is supposed to do after all, right? I mean, I feel like only half of the comedy actually works, but like with the other two I can see this aspect of the movie’s good points in a vacuum as well. But if Waititi wants to mix all these together into one movie, can he at least mix them well?

I mean, goddamn. If you want to make a Nazi satire, fucking go for it. Put some oomph into it, you know? Don’t act so scared to step on anyone’s toes that instead of at all attempting to make meaningful criticisms or even points in general that you instead go for unfunny dick and unicorn jokes. Almost nothing about this movie’s comedy challenges the audience in any way. I wish the majority of this movie made me morally outraged, at least that would be something. But you know, I’ve been using ‘almost’ and ‘majority’ to describe this movie’s lack of offensiveness, so now I’d like to talk about what actually did offend me about this movie. At the end of the second act, something genuinely heart shattering happens. I actually got emotional, and was about to appreciate those behind this movie for adding a scene like that into the film. But once again I can only praise this scene in a vacuum, because we almost immediately get another unicorn joke, which reminds me how little Jojo Rabbit deserved the satisfaction of that scene making any dent in my emotions. A lot of this movie’s emotional moments make me feel like this, but none in the parking lot of the ballpark of how the aforementioned scene did. Fine in theory, an absolute mess in execution. Using David Bowie was exactly the last kick in the ass I needed.