Jojo Rabbit: A Powerful Hit(ler) Or Miss Comedy
It says a lot about Taika Waititi to make a satirical comedy about one of the most brutal mass murderers in the world and to pull it off successfully, especially since less than a handful of people before him managed to accomplish such a task. Charlie Chaplin did it in The Great Dictator, Hogan’s Heroes did it for six seasons on CBS, and Mel Brooks did it with his most infamous and hilarious send-up in The Producers “Springtime For Hitler” production.
Taika’s film couldn’t have come at a perfect time, especially with the recent rise of neo-nazi support for the current President. He took on the risk and challenges that came with making this film, and it paid off brilliantly. Jojo Rabbit will not only amuse you, but it’ll make you remember the horrors that were committed by Adolf Hitler. In a way, this film is targeted toward the young Millennials and Gen Z’ers that don’t know what happened 80-years-ago when Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
Set during the final year of World War II, Jojo Rabbit is about Johannes “Jojo” Beltzer (Roman Griffin Davis), a 10-year-old boy who has been completely indoctrinated by Hitler Youth. His world is turned upside down when he discovers his mother has been hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic.
Except for his imaginary friend, and his scene-stealing buddy Yorki (Archie Yates), Jojo doesn’t have any friends. He’s always teased and picked on by the other kids, and it doesn’t help matters when his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), is a bumbling idiot, giving the worst advice all the time, but as the movie progresses, Jojo begins to realize that maybe that nazi movement isn’t all that its cracked up to be.
Roman Griffin Davis is phenomenal as the title character, which is guaranteed to earn him some sort of child actor award this year. Equally as impressive was Archie Yates who, as a kid, has a certain je ne sais quoi about him where he takes control of the scene in, more often times than not, hilarious situations. Thomasin McKenzie is lovely as Elsa. Rebel Wilson plays–well, herself. It’s nice to see Scarlett Johansson play a more low-key role, given the last nine years. Sam Rockwell is great as Captain Klenzendorf.
If you are a fan of Taiki Waititi and his previous works (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and What We Do in the Shadows), then you’re going to love this film and happily accept it into your collection once released on DVD.