Out now is Tom and Jerry, the latest cinematic adventure for the iconic duo. Will this latest iteration live up the legends? Short answer, no. Honestly, this is in my opinion the worst film I’ve seen this year.
You might be asking, why is this the worst film? Well, it’s broken down into several key parts. It begins with the clichéd plot that follows Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is trying to survive in New York. She tricks her way into a prominent position in a prestigious hotel on the eve of an important wedding that is being held there. Unfortunately, Jerry is there and she needs to get rid of him. So she hires Tom to get rid of the mischievous mouse.
Tom and Jerry, the same tired tricks
The main problem with Tom and Jerry is that it’s nothing new. Even though they’re in a new time they’re pulling off the same tricks that we have all seen before. None of the jokes land because they are rehashed versions of encounters they’ve had before. It’s so lazy that the audio is actually archival audio from decades ago. Now if this was acompanied by new and interesting battles between the two it could be seen as a charming homage. Instead, it comes across as simply unimaginative.
Another factor that doesn’t help this is the animation. It is woeful, utterly charmless. There is no sense of weight or depth to the characters. They feel like they are floating across every scene. It’s impressive that to this day films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit still shines as bright as it does because when you compare Tom and Jerry to that film, there is such a stark difference in quality.
The film also pulls one of the most egregious sins of adapting beloved cartoons into a cinematic medium. Director Tim Story decided to make the human characters the focus of the story. This as everyone knows is the telltale sign of a bad adaptation. Michael Bay is someone who has perpetrated this many times with the Transformers franchise.
It doesn’t help when the characters are unfunny and remarkably lacking in charm. If any human character makes it close to unscathed it is Perry Ferran who plays Joy. She is the Bell Girl at the hotel and she injects a strange kind of humour that is sorely lacking. It’s a shame because there are actors like Michael Peña, Rob Delaney and Ken Jeong who have nothing to work with.
And then it gets weird
If there is anything truly shameful about Tom and Jerry it is the fact that it does not need to be an animated/live-action hybrid. With the proper team and tools, this could have been a charming animated film. Also with this hybrid mess comes some serious questions that get answered and left me with even more questions.
For example, an interesting decision of the film is every animal is animated. All the birds, the cats, dogs and the fish. So when the food begins to pop up I began to notice that the meat itself, as well as the fish, was also animated. This is a horrifying choice because it makes you think about all the animals in the film likely freaking out as they’re being slaughtered. It’s a strange turn and when a film like this is so boring and unimaginatively it is one of the few elements you can glom onto to interest you.
Tom and Jerry is one of the worst films I have seen this year. There is nothing redeeming in this film. It’s not smart enough to engage the parents and it’s not imaginative to enthral the little ones either.
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