The Reel Review

F

Chloë Grace Moretz stars in this film featuring Hanna Barbera’s iconic cat and mouse cartoon characters, where the humans are live action and the critters are animated. Moretz stars as Kayla, a down on her luck millennial who lands a job at a fancy New York hotel days before a big high profile wedding, and just as Jerry has taken up residence in the hotel.

Chloë Grace Moretz in Tom and Jerry: The Movie.

The problem with Tom and Jerry: The Movie is that it is profoundly unfunny – as if screenwriter Kevin Costello (Brigsby Bear) and director Tim Story (Shaft, Barbershop) seem to go out of their way NOT to make their film funny, or even slightly interesting. And for a movie about cartoon characters, Tom and Jerry get precious little screen time compared to the boring human characters – Michael Peña as the event planner, SNL’s Colin Jost (did he lose a bet?) and Pallavi Sharda (Lion, Begum Jaan) as the newlyweds, Ken Jeong as a Gordon Ramsey-styled chef and Rob Delaney as the hotel manager. Even young kids will lose interest in this mess after five minutes.

Chloë Grace Moretz and Michael Peña in Tom and Jerry: The Movie.

Those of us old enough to remember the classic Tom and Jerry will get more joy out of looking at still photos and the original cartoons than trying to suffer through this God awful film. Moretz (Greta, The 5th Wave), who in recent years has become like a moth drawn to really bad movies, tries to make the most of the weak script but a better use of her time would be firing her agent for signing her up for yet another craptastic piece of cinematic garbage. HBO Max, do better.

REEL FACTS

• Others reportedly considered for the role of Kayla included Olivia Cooke, Zoey Deutch, Jennifer Lawrence and Kelly Marie Tran.

Original Tom and Jerry animator Gene Deitch.

• The film is dedicated to Gene Deitch, who was responsible for the era of Tom and Jerry cartoons in the early 1960s. Deitch worked on this film prior to his death on April 16, 2020 in his hometown of Prague. He was 95.

• This is the second Tom and Jerry feature film, after 1992’s Tom and Jerry: The Movie, and the first to be both live action and animated.

 

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