Tom & Jerry [Grade: C-]

Director: Tim Story

Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Pallavi Sharda, & Colin Jost

* * *

I remember back in the 90s (or maybe early 00s, but something tells me it was the 90s) and there was promo for a Tom & Jerry cartoon movie on Cartoon Network. The big thing about this movie was that it would be the first time you would hear Tom & Jerry speak. That was enough to get me to watch the cartoon as a young person. Now I don’t quite remember that cartoon movie entirely because it was so long ago, but I feel like the majority of the movie was the typical Tom & Jerry antics with them not actually speaking until the very end/towards the end of the movie. The point of me bringing this up is because this cartoon movie was promoted with bait of something that we weren’t accustomed to with this duo—to hear these well known characters actually speak. Otherwise, what would be the point of having a full length feature of 2 cartoon characters like Tom & Jerry? 

And it seems that the team behind the 2021 film didn’t ask that question before embarking on this movie. 

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #TomAndJerry that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating in my breakdown, but will continue with minus-ratings.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale. 

***

Theme: D

Plot: C

Pacing: B

Character Arc/Development: D

Entertainment Factor: Don’t Rush

* * *

Takeaways: 

1. The film wasted no time in getting the Tom and Jerry antics kicked off, so that was definitely appreciated. 👍🏾👍🏾

2. Additionally, I liked the organic cause for their antics–it wasn’t JUST a “cat and mouse” game. 👍🏾

3. Michael Peña was a joy to watch, though he teeters on being typecast as the funny assistant/assistant-adjacent. 🤷🏾‍♂️👍🏾

4. That mouse hole was decked out. Go’n head, Jerry! 🤣

5. So they just got money to get things fixed just like that, huh? That’s not realistic. 🤨

6. Cameron… … 😍😍

7. I really wish there was more utilization with the doorman due to how much screen time he got. I was expecting something meaningful from his character. 🤷🏾‍♂️

8. The alleycats were fun. 👍🏾

9. I also found the “fun day” cute to watch. 👍🏾

10. The film was a little predictable, like the moment they showed the atrium…I knew… 👀🙄

11. They really tried to make more out of Kayla’s story, and it just didn’t translate well. 🤦🏾‍♂️👎🏾

12. The best part(s) of the entire movie was Michael Peña and the lavish wedding scene. 👍🏾

13. You know… in all honesty, Ken Jeong is not funny. He’s loud and annoying, but not funny. This was also the case in this movie. 👎🏾

14. So here’s what I don’t get…how is Jerry seen as a typical rodent in one instance, but then humanized in another? It was the inconsistency, for me. 🤦🏾‍♂️

15. Also, from what I remember with the classic cartoons of Tom & Jerry, there wasn’t this personified interaction/existence with humans. The antics that took place were usually with other animals—like how the babies in Rugrats got into their antics with the adults not around—so to have some animals who seemed to be humanized and personified and others who weren’t also didn’t translate well for me. 👎🏾

16. And, to piggyback off point #15, this is what made moments such as Kayla “understanding” the animals, but not Cameron despite being an “employee” with an animal, NOT make sense. What made Kayla so special? 🤨

17. The modern Tik-Tok dance moment was really cute. 👍🏾

18. For some odd reason, I didn’t like the use of hip-hop with this film. I’m not sure why… 🥴🤨🤔

19. Also, to piggyback off of point #11, that damn “relationship”… … … Chile.😒😒😒🤦🏾‍♂️

* * *

Overall, to continue with the point made in my introduction, #TomAndJerry is a movie that no one asked for. I actually find the creativity with this screenplay to be extremely lazy. This could’ve been a film that had personified animals and humans coexisting, with a deeper origin story behind how Tom met Jerry; or a film focused on Tom as a pet to a main character whose storyline ended up putting Tom in contact with Jerry unintentionally… I mean, seriously…If you’re going to claim 101 minutes of film time, put thought into how it will be used to tell a great story. 

I can see this being interesting/entertaining for 1-10-year-olds, in which case means it didn’t really have/need to be a big screen feature. The 1994 movie #BabysDayOut was much more entertaining and cuter than what was attempted with Tom & Jerry. 

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