Jo Jo Rabbit lampoons our darkest tendencies as human beings and shoves a bottle rock up its swastika loving behind and shoots into the stratosphere. Writer/director Taika Waititi has crafted a touching yet farcical look at Nazi Germany at the end of World War 2, which is sure to bring out a kaleidoscope of emotions. Originality is something we often long for in Hollywood, and it’s refreshing when a project delivers precisely that. What was surprising to me was how fantastic Mr. Waititi was in his role as Jo Jo’s imaginary friend Adolf Hitler. I hope that he’s somehow able to break through on the awards circuit, if for no other reason than to see these shows struggle to find a clean clip of him playing the disgraced leader of Nazi Germany
Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, and Alfie Allen are fantastic and make this ensemble truly click. However, the real stars (besides Taika) are Thomasin Mckenzie and Roman Griffin Davis. The premise behind the film is Jo Jo (Davis) is a bit of a loaner and a huge Nazi sympathizer, so who better to have as your imaginary friend than the leader of the Third Reich. In the first act (after a lengthy conversation with his pal), he comes to realize that his mother is harboring the very thing he has sworn to hate. Elsa (Mckenzie) and Jo-Jo (Davis) develop a quick bond, and he faced with confronting the irrational nature of his hatred.
Mckenzie and Davis are stellar and are the heart of this story. Davis is representing what has been led astray and Mckenzie, a symbol of hope and redemption. The pacing movie is outstanding, and the writing in some of the best I’ve seen this year. Is this a top 5 movie like The Irishmen? Perhaps, but it’s most certainly a top ten movie and needs to be seen ASAP.