Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★½

Okay, so I'm being a bit of a shitty contrarian here so I apologize in advance. I did enjoy this movie but the more and more I think on it, the more and more I ask myself: "Who was this for?"

The gags are all pretty damn funny and it has absolutely no concern for being politically correct. No problems there. But this is clearly meant for people who already understand how ridiculous it is when we talk about telepathic Jews who run the world. We saw some of those same exact jokes in "BlackkKlansman". Both movies feature backwards individuals voicing insane opinions for our amusement.

Yet the difference between movies like "JoJo" and those like "Klansman" are critical. One demands a moral reaction from us whereas the other asks us for nothing but our mirth and tears. One offers indignation while the other offers reassurance that everything is fine because love conquers all.

I get that "JoJo" is meant to be a coming-of-age story for kids and the other is...well, I dunno, I guess it's meant for adults so I swear I'm not just trying to be a killjoy here.

The trouble is that there are people who actually believe this stuff and it's not really enough to just make fun of them anymore. When was the last time Jon Stewart or Trevor Noah or Samantha Bee seemed politically relevant? Irony doesn't really work if one has no capacity for self-reflection or doubt.

So, again: who is this movie for?

If this is meant to de-radicalize angry young kids then its lack of subtlety belies its true disinterest in reaching anyone short of the silent majority. If humor is an evolutionary technique for alleviating our anxiety with the current state of things then I'd say we need to grow up quick because our opposite number isn't laughing. They're not uncomfortable. In fact, they're downright cushy. And if that's not cause for discomfort I don't know what is.

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