Tom and Jerry; The Beloved Childhood Classic Cartoon Has Been Dumped Into a Dumpster Fire. Grade: F
There was a lovely Letterbox’d review on 2021’s Tom and Jerry that I would like to share, from Siegel.
“Let’s name this movie after a beloved long-standing staple of children’s television and pretend it has anything to do with those characters in all the promos, and then actually make a stupid movie bout a stupid wedding between 2 stupid people in a stupid hotel and make the actual main character an irredeemably stupid fucking dumbass lady for whom we will give the audience not a single reason to root because fuck the audience. All I know is pain. Long live the devil!” - the producers of this movie probably”
Hence the sarcastic long live the devil... I think we could all say Siegel perfectly summarized just how everyone felt, while watching 2021’s Tom and Jerry.
In this day in age: We are given the luxury of either watching 2021’s children’s film Tom and Jerry either at the comfort of our own home or go out of our way and see in a theater. From the looks from the ridiculous trailers: Here I am debating whether or not should I stay home and watch what appears to be a below mediocre film, where I can have almost complete silence depending on what time of the day I watch it, or should I drive a good thirty minutes to my closet AMC, potentially having to sit in a room full of loud children while watching an unbearable children’s film?! Look I know I appear to be an idiot to have gone out of my way and see this in a theater, but you have to understand: I’m not a hypocrite. If a film that I have the slightest interest in watching is playing at home or at a theater, every single time I will choose the theater. I love and enjoy the theatrical experience no matter if I have a great experience or having a completely unbearable experience: This has always been my first love and I will always continue to support it as long as it’s around. Thankfully my commitment to the theaters has paid off, as I was treated to a fairly respectful audience while watching this film I had no business in going out my way to see.
I wouldn’t say I was a die hard fan of the cartoon show Tom and Jerry, however I do recall watching it as a young child and fairly enjoying the simply made entertaining cartoon. Storyline has always been kept at a bare minimum, as the main focus has always been entertainment value in watching a Cat and a Mouse beating the crap out of each other. I believe making a full length feature film out of this television cartoon show would be a challenge within itself, as it would be difficult to come up with a moving narrative in which it’s sole purpose was to create quick entertainment. I think if it had a run time barely reaching the surface of seventy minutes, it could possibly be successful as you don’t really need to stretch out much of a narrative given that short run time. It has been done before with the likes of the Winnie the Pooh films, so I don’t really see much of an issue of why this wouldn’t be kept very short and simple while executing it’s main purpose.
The run time of one hundred and one minutes maybe an issue, however that’s not why it has fallen short... Just about everywhere you look, nothing about this film necessarily works. Sure Tom and Jerry, the characters themselves are respectfully accurate to what they appear in the cartoon in this film, so it doesn’t tarnish the beloved childhood icons. However the main issue is this film has nothing really to do with Tom and Jerry, it mainly has to do with human beings, in which should never ever be the main focus of any story where the main focus is clearly on the animals, because truth be told: Everyone hates when a film decides to put their main focus on characters especially stupid human beings, that shouldn’t be the main focus in the first place.
So let’s talk about our main character?! Kayla (Chloe Grace Mortez) happens to be a hustle bustle kind of gal, who is all about her grind and nothing else. Kayla just got fired from her job, so she needs a job really fast. Instead of getting the job the ole fashion way, by applying for a job, interviewing for a job, hoping to persuade the manager even though you lack experience, that you are sure far from a disappointment as you know if you’re given the chance, you shall succeed. What does Kayla do instead?! Oh just steals another qualified candidates résumé and persuades the qualified candidate they failed the test claiming she was the interviewing manager (Even though no one could ever be fooled, by the way Kayla dresses like she shops at Hot Topic)... Now nobody cares or likes Kayla because she didn’t earn this position. When shit hits the fan for Kayla, we’re suppose to feel extremely sorry for Kayla, but however why should we?! She’s a liar and a con artist, who really doesn’t deserve anything to be honest, why should I even care nor have sympathy for her?! Just because the film wants to deliver a half ass message, of how we should only care about production of a common worker than the résumé itself which I 100% agree, doesn’t mean it correlates to the character thyself. Maybe if the film did a proper job with Kayla, as Kayla was given a promotion to work at this wedding due to the fact she’s been with the hotel for so long and has worked her ass off and rightfully earns a chance, maybe I would consider caring about her... But not only do I don’t care, all I’m asking is why is this film centered on Kayla when it should be clearly centered on the freaking Cat and Mouse?!
I understand Tom and Jerry is lightly sprinkled a good hour of the film, but it’s mainly centered around human beings in this repetitive storyline we’ve seen thousands of times before. I felt the conflict within the hotel managers and staff trying to kick out Jerry out of the hotel is fine, it potentially creates some classic Tom and Jerry moments which they do try however come off very short because we’re dealt with a much more distracting problem... Preeta (Pallavi Sharda) hoping to fall through with her marriage with Ben (Colin Jost). The main issue with Preeta and Ben is the fact Ben goes out of control with spending countless amounts of money, on big and expensive things Preeta doesn’t want nor needs because it’s too much for her. Even though it’s repetitive, the main issue is the fact it’s not developed enough. Like you could easily explore the conflict, as we can have Preeta explain how she’s not comfortable with all these fancy things and just wants a simple life. Not only is the conflict not developed enough... WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TOM AND JERRY?! It feels like I’m in two separate films, where one is playing off as a stupid cartoon show and the other is playing a hallmark rom com, as it doesn’t work as one whole narrative.
When your property’s main purpose is to provide entertainment, there should be no excuse as to why this is utterly boring from start to finish. Within the Tom and Jerry cartoons your rarely ever bored and there is always something fun and excitement happening. Here it’s just really obnoxious and extremely bland, as even the Tom and Jerry montages just fall flat on it’s face, creating a very nauseating experience. The comedic element of this film... I didn’t produce a single laugh at all. Every single joke and pun they tried to pull off falls flat on it’s face, creating extremely embarrassing and cringey comedic moments that never once work up a single laugh.
I think what the main issue with this film is it kind of tries to please both kids and adults, preferably mothers which makes no sense given the fact mostly young boys like this cartoon. You can see the Tom and Jerry aspect was to please the kids, while the rom com is suppose to please the mothers. Will either party be please by this film?! Unless their severely tone deaf in film wise (To each it’s own opinion)... I can’t see either mothers or kids actually enjoying this outrageously stupid film. This is Tim Story’s first children’s film as it may be his last, clearly he’s tone deaf in trying to create a children’s film suitable for both kids and adults. I almost walked out of this film as I couldn’t care less what happens, but somehow just wanted to see if there could be some light at the end of the tunnel and what do you know... It remained in total darkness... God Forbid.
Overall, Tom and Jerry is complete garbage. I don’t recommend this film at all, watch the classic cartoon episodes instead. I hope one day a movie theater will be named after me, the things I do for the things I love in this world, for films that don’t deserve it. -Mitch Smietana