Jojo Rabbit Review

Jojo-Rabbit-Taika-Waitit
9.5
Brilliant

Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell

Taika Waititi is definitely flavour of the month in Hollywood right now and it’s pretty easy to see why – his films are all brilliant and it’s tough to think of a director working today who so effortlessly manages to flit from blockbuster to smaller more ‘independent’ movie then back to blockbuster.

But, it’s not just that he’s able to play in both worlds of the film industry so effortlessly, it’s that he just makes good to great films. I genuinely can’t think of a Waititi movie I haven’t loved or been a bit obsessed with.

Back in 2016, Waititi made The Hunt For The Wilderpeople, which was my favourite movie of that year. Then he made Thor: Ragnarok, which not only made us all fall in love with Chris Hemsworth version of Thor, but it was also my favourite comic book movie of that year (2017).

That was a year which included the likes of Logan, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming. I’m going to be honest, it was a close run thing between Ragnarok and Logan, but I just had so much fun watching Waititi’s take on the comic book movie genre.

He’s done the very same thing with Jojo Rabbit by making a movie which ended up being my favourite movie of the year.

Jojo Rabbit would have been 2019’s movie of the year

Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi in the film Jojo Rabbit

Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi in the film Jojo Rabbit – Credit: Fox Searchlight

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I will admit that I watched it in 2019, but I didn’t have it in my best of the year lists because it didn’t hit cinemas until January 2020, so I didn’t include it for that reason alone.

If I had done, Jojo Rabbit would have been my number one because Waititi’s take on Nazi Germany is simply put perfection.

I loved the premise of this movie. Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis) is a ten-year-old who’s desperate to fight for the country he loves, and his obsession with Adolf Hilter results in him having the Nazi leader as an imaginary friend.

This imaginary version of Hitler is perfectly played by Waititi himself, who’s at his manic best in this movie.

It’s a joy to see him on-screen and his chemistry with Davis is just brilliant and they light up the screen whenever they have scenes together.

I must say, there’s a bit less of his Hitler in the movie than I expected, as he’s not the film’s main character.

Jojo Rabbit shows another side to what it was like living in Nazi Germany

(From L-R): Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Roman Griffin Davis in the film Jojo Rabbit

(From L-R): Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Roman Griffin Davis in the film Jojo Rabbit (Credit: Fox Searchlight)

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This film is mostly about Jojo and him having to come to terms with his misconceptions about Jews, which is utterly down to the fact that he’s living in Nazi Germany.

When he discovers that his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johannson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in a secret compartment in Jojo’s deceased sister’s room, he’s torn.

Does he inform the officials – risking his mother’s life – or does he keep her secret and find out what Jews really are about?

It’s a really fascinating take on what it would have been like to be a young german boy living in Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and this is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

It’s a completely unique vision and casts a new gaze upon what took place during World War II.

Waititi uses all his talents to elevate the film above your standard war movie. He uses his wit, his charm, his unique shooting style and his storytelling abilities to craft what is a glorious piece of cinema.

Taika Waititi is one of the best directors in Hollywood today

Jojo Rabbit Review Thomasin McKenzie and Roman Griffin Davis

Thomasin McKenzie and Roman Griffin Davis in the film Jojo Rabbit (Credit: Fox Searchlight)

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Jojo Rabbit will make you laugh, cry, smile, sigh and think about how we look upon the events of the Second World War.

Have you ever stopped to think what it must have been like to be German during World War II? I’m not sure if I had ever done before watching Jojo Rabbit.

More than that, have you ever stopped to think what it was like to be a child, most of whom would have been brainwashed to believe all the propaganda spouted by the Führer? Me neither.

Jojo Rabbit is a funny movie, some people might call it a comedy, which it is to a certain extent, however, much like The Hunt For The Wilderpeople, this movie packs a real emotional punch and there’s much more about this film that just being ‘funny’.

That’s why I wanted so desperately to put this film as my number one movie of 2019. That said, I would be very surprised if another movie comes along in 2020 which I believe is better than Waititi’s picture.

What did you make of Jojo Rabbit? Did you like it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments below.

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