REVIEW: ‘Tom and Jerry’ Falls Short

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Tom & Jerry

Tom and Jerry, a film directed by Tim Story and produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, was released on Friday to select theaters and for home viewing on HBO Max. The film is an adaptation of how the titular characters, which were created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, met and how their iconic rivalry was formed. During their first encounter, Tom meets Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is desperate to find a new job. After the encounter, Kayla manages to get a position at a hotel that happens to be hosting an important wedding. However, things start to get out of control after Tom and Jerry end up at the hotel. Kayla is put to the test when she is responsible for getting rid of Jerry so that the wedding and the hotel’s reputation aren’t ruined. To make matters worse, Kayla is under the watchful eye of Terence (Michael Peña), the hotel’s event planner, who doesn’t fully trust her.

Being a long-time fan of the Tom and Jerry franchise, it’s fantastic to see them appear in a brand new story. It’s also exciting to see a new generation being introduced to a new cartoon franchise that has had such a long and impactful history. Within minutes of the film, it felt like watching Tom and Jerry chase each other around for the first time. Being animated the way they were in the film made them stand out from everything else included in the film. It was hard not to pay attention to them, which definitely helped the film as the story progressed. Every chase scene and comedic moment between these two characters brought a heavy sense of nostalgia while also never feeling out of place or drawn out to where a scene could lose any real meaning. Their interactions throughout the film provided an interesting adaptation of how these two characters met and how their rivalry was established.

One of the main detriments of Tom and Jerry was the human cast. While the film’s cast includes various comedians like Colin Jost, Ken Jeong, and Rob Delaney, their characters do more harm than good to the film’s story. The humans in the original series were never fully shown, which was a way to put the attention on both Tom and Jerry. In the newest film, it seems like the human cast takes center stage within a story that’s meant to be about the titular characters. The human cast also causes the film to change several directions throughout its run rather than Tom or Jerry having a bigger influence in the constant changes. Had the rest of the cast been written differently or been giving smaller roles, the titular characters could have had more time to shine.

However, Moretz’s character throughout Tom and Jerry was an incredible addition to the story. Even though her character fell under the “working girl looking for her big break” trope, it was clear that her character belonged in the film. She also had numerous comedic scenes with Tom and Jerry, which she played very well. One that stands out the most is when Kayla teams up with Tom to try and get Jerry to leave but things get out of hand very quickly. However, she too shapes the direction that the film takes rather than that responsibility following on Tom and Jerry. It would’ve been a much different situation had the film found a way to get the three of them at the center of the premise in a way that wouldn’t overshadow anyone else.

Ultimately, Tom and Jerry brings many nostalgic elements and moments of hilarity but falls short due to its human cast. With the film’s title, it’s no surprise that audiences go into watching the film feeling disappointed with the final product. Even the best moments of the film aren’t enough to carry the film. While it’s an enjoyable film, Tom and Jerry‘s story takes many turns because of its human cast that proves the film was rushed rather than given the dedication it deserved.

Tom and Jerry is playing in theaters now and streaming on HBO Max until March 28th.

'Tom and Jerry'
  • 5/10
    Rating - 5/10
5/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, Tom and Jerry brings many nostalgic elements and moments of hilarity but falls short due to its human cast. With the film’s title, it’s no surprise that audiences go into watching the film feeling disappointed with the final product. Even the best moments of the film aren’t enough to carry the film. While it’s an enjoyable film, Tom and Jerry‘s story takes many turns because of its human cast that proves the film was rushed rather than given the dedication it deserved.