Hey, remember last week how I talked about HBO Max and Warner Brothers being jerks about holding their multi-released material in America? Well, apparently I'm going to be able to access a few of these titles after all - not as conveniently, but it's still a step in the right direction. Let's just hope that I can get some of those more high profile titles, as 'Tom and Jerry' here wasn't exactly a movie I was excited to see. But hey, it's been a little while since I did a "Now Playing" review on a family title. So, is 'Tom and Jerry' worth checking out?
The film opens with an unnecessary hip hop number involving a few unknown pigeons, we are introduced to Tom and Jerry who are here to do what they do throughout the whole movie. In a weird way, I actually credit the film for keeping Tom and Jerry as they should be - totally silent, and playing off each other, performing that classic cartoon violence they're known for. The actual plot of the film mostly revolves around one, Kayla Forester (Chloë Grace Moretz); a young woman looking for her place in Manhattan. After doing several odd jobs and constantly looking for work, she tries the Royal Gate Hotel, and in desperation, robs another applicant of her impressive resume in order to get the job. Yeah, security is super tight in this hotel.
In order to prove herself worthy of the fancy hotel job, Kayla is tasked with helping an event planner named Terence Mendoza (Michael Peña) plan a high profile wedding for well-known celebrity couple, Preeta (Pallavi Sharda) and Ben (Colin Jost). The whole time, Terence is somewhat suspicious of Kayla's qualifications. But Kayla decides to further prove herself by helping get rid of a pesky mouse we know as Jerry, who has recently taken up residence in the hotel. Long story short, she eventually gets Tom to try to help her. What follows is pretty much a bunch of Tom and Jerry shenanigans risking the upcoming wedding being ruined. In the meantime, Kayla hopes her true, inexperienced identity won't be unveiled. All in all, things get significantly predictable, and the film is mediocre at best.
This is a weird one for me. As a film, it's bad. It's hard to wrap my head around how this world works, exactly. It seems that real-life human beings live in a world where all of the animals are animated, and there's absolutely no explanation as to why things look like this. Furthermore, we have no idea who the hell this movie is for. There's a bit of nostalgia here, if only in the way Tom and Jerry act, but when I say that, it's only a slight pinch. Most of the humor here is definitely directed at kids, but the soundtrack is all R&B and hip-hop, a lot of it from the old school, and it feels very obvious that this is a studio cash-grab on parallel with something like... well, and of the 'Chipmunk' movies.
What makes the film even worse is that it's scripted by Kevin Costello who also worked on 'Brigsby Bear', which is actually a movie that I highly recommend. The director here is Tim Story, who is pretty hit-or-miss, but I can tell you in all honesty that this is a miss. When I mention the nostalgic factor here, again, it's only very slight, and there isn't enough of it to really fuel the film. It further sucks that at no point is the movie REALLY about them. It's all about Kayla, and then suddenly it's about the potential bride and groom. For a movie with the title 'Tom and Jerry', it has very little to do without them, other than just showing us what they do. This is just another example of a movie that slaps a familiar title on it for a quick cash grab, and tries too hard to be "cool" for the kids these days. 'Scoob' was much better, and I only thought that was okay.