Hopefully, Tom and Jerry is the worst movie of the year. Any film that manages to be much worse is very, very very bad.
Tom and Jerry is an ill-advised and misguided attempt to modernize an 80-year-old cartoon. It’s tedious, not the least bit funny, and has enough energy to fuel Hollywood cynics for a week.
No kid watches Tom and Jerry for the plot. But since this is a movie, writer Kevin Costello has to come up with something to fill in 100 minutes.
Rather than find a way to make the most of the cartoon’s comical violence and mayhem – the trademark of Tom and Jerry – the script makes a number of terrible decisions.
The first is focusing the story on a group of human characters you won’t care about. Kayla (Chloe Moretz) gets a job at a luxury hotel that’s hosting a high-profile wedding of a rich and instafamous couple Ben (Colin Jost) and Preeta (Pallavi Sharda). She needs to help and impress Terence (Michael Pena) the events manager. He didn’t want to hire her, but Mr. Dubors (Rob Delaney), the general manager, insists because of her impressive resume.
The second is that the protagonist is a fraud. After getting fired from her last odd job, Kayla manipulates an applicant and steals her resume. In this kids’ movie, it’s okay to lie to get to the top with the help of your 2D animated friends.
The rest of the cast, played by funny actors, are left helpless by the script. They’re all uninteresting cardboards that if the camera only showed them from the knee down like in cartoons, it wouldn’t matter. The movie uses cringe humor where characters embarrass themselves in front of others. They weren’t funny in SNL (with occasional exceptions) and they’re not funny here.
The third is that there isn’t any effort made to make this movie worthwhile. The slapstick scenes where Tom, Jerry, and later on Spike, hurt each other with murderous intent are here, but they’re tacked on as an excuse for this movie to get made. It takes a lot of creativity to make this amusing for 100 minutes, but if Shaun the Sheep – another slapstick comedy where stop-motion animated characters don’t speak – can do it, then why can’t this?
We all know the answer to that in the first 10 minutes of watching this movie. Hollywood Studios are either creating origin stories or rebooting their IP to sell nostalgia to adults who grew up with these properties and now have disposable incomes.
Why should we pay for this film when the classics are available on YouTube and Tom and Jerry Special Shorts is streaming on HBO Max? Do yourself, your wallet, and your time a favor, don’t.
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry is a tedious live-action animation that sidelines its own titular characters and dissolves into a failed attempt to sell nostalgia.