DaveyPeppers’s review published on Letterboxd:
In a little diddy before the movie began, Taika Waititi name-dropped Life is Beautiful, which is the best comparison Jojo Rabbit has. A lot of people can’t stand Life is Beautiful, I am not one of those people.
Jojo Rabbit spends its first half embracing the absurdity and literary ambitions of its premise. It’s a story of a young boy coming of age in a horrific time, and the film bounces between various characters that all have some level of influence on the titular Rabbit. Throw in some really funny jokes and an on-brand sense of out-of-place whimsy, and the movie lives comfortably in its twee blanket of safety.
And then it changes. The darkness works because of the light, the pain works because of the comfort, and the hope works because of how deeply it’s been snuffed out through smiles and pretty camera angles.
There’s not much about Jojo Rabbit that hasn’t been done before, predominantly for those who have seen Life is Beautiful. But getting another gut-punching, deeply funny, empathetic movie like this is never a bad thing. Jojo Rabbit is the sort of movie that makes you happy to be alive. And honestly, that’s the only kind of movie I can really fall in love with nowadays. That might make me a bad critic, but I’m not a critic. I’m a 21-year-old boy who likes to talk about movies and wants to be part of a club.