film & game reviews, the retro way.
TOM & JERRY
Chloë Grace Moretz
Tim Story directs this latest attempt to bring Hanna & Barbera's iconic cat and mouse cartoon duo Tom & Jerry to the big screen and he brings with him, as ever, a reliable cast plus some flashy special effects.
On paper, the idea of Tom and Jerry battling it out in a high-end hotel sounds like the perfect premise for the classic rivals. In the same vein as The Witches or even Dunston Checks In, this idea should have presented plenty of opportunities for entertaining mayhem with an amusing contrast between the violence on display and the swanky setting. The 2D (and a half) animation crossed with live action also could have evoked the likes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? or Space Jam instead of being just another lazy Smurfs or Alvin & The Chipmunks movie. Sadly, despite early slapstick from the cat and mouse looking promising, this Tom & Jerry movie is exactly the kind of cynical cash-in we've come to expect from most new movies where a beloved cartoon character is injected into the real world.
This isn't the first Tom and Jerry to disappoint, of course, as the 1992 animated feature Tom & Jerry: The Movie quickly, and clumsily, turned both characters into best buddies early on before relegating them to side roles in a story that failed to impress. Tragically, this new film makes exactly the same mistakes as its predecessor except the characters around Tom and Jerry, and their story, are even less interesting. Chloë Grace Moretz plays the mostly unlikeable Kayla who lies her way into getting a job in a hotel where suspicious event manager Terence (Michael Peña) is forced to put her to the test by helping handle a big celebrity wedding meant to take place in the establishment. Kayla eventually hires the help of Tom to catch Jerry who has made the hotel his home and... "hilarity" ensues.
Anyone going into this movie expecting Tom and Jerry to fight it out will admittedly find some of that, peppered in between dull Disney Channel-level cheese, but even those parts are ruined by the constant whimsical score and unnecessary sound effects rendering any semblance of a laugh dead on arrival. Only one moment involving Tom basically turning into Batman will raise a smile. This movie is a charmless, noisy, unfunny mess that feels interested in literally anything else than Tom and Jerry who eventually struggle to fit into the plot which builds up to the wedding of two characters I can't imagine ever caring about. The cast, saddled with horrid writing, awkwardly tries to entertain but in vain and everyone deserved better.
This isn't so much a disappointment as it is a reliably terrible movie that talks down to kids and provides barely anything worthwhile. It's very clear that director Tim Story has phoned this one in and that's truly a shame because, again, there was some real potential here. Not even the animation, which is frankly stiff and unimpressive, can save a film that shamelessly banked on name recognition but failed to deliver the goods.