MOVIE REVIEW: “Tom & Jerry” Deserves To Have An Anvil Dropped On Its Head ★☆☆☆☆

GOOD Morning Wilton‘s movie reviewer, Sebastian Hunt, is a senior at Wilton High School who loves film and television and hopes to become a filmmaker himself one day. He’s already gotten a jump start on that, producing his own screenplays and planning on submitting his work to film festivals. You can learn more about Sebastian on GMW‘s “Our Team” page. 

Some bad films are compellingly terrible, others are just plain uninteresting. Tom & Jerry is of the latter category. It is an artlessly abhorrent children’s flick. Practically nothing about it is good. Moreover, it is a film that’s been made a dozen times over, in the form of other nakedly cynical, pop music-infused “live-action” reimaginings of classic cartoon characters — think 2007’s Alvin and the Chipmunks, 2011’s The Smurfs and 2002’s Scooby-Doo.

The plot only vaguely has anything to do with either Tom or Jerry. Conjured by Kevin Costello, Tom & Jerry’s screenplay centers around the buildup to a lavish, hotel-set wedding. After acquiring her position fraudulently, employee Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) finds herself in charge of planning the event. Complications arise, however, once Tom and Jerry’s famous rivalry spills into hotel walls, threatening the wedding’s commencement and Kayla’s position.

Moretz, to be frank, is awful. There isn’t an inkling of interest within her performance. She feels bored and unengaged, as if her character is cognizant of how utterly insipid her fictional predicaments are. Of all the non-animated performers, only Michael Peña possesses a hint of fun or self-awareness about the material.

Likewise, the writing is tedious and unfunny. While the central story is paralyzingly dull, only a scattered minority of Tom & Jerry’s visual and verbal gags manage to make a comedic impact.

Maybe I have no business reviewing Tom & Jerry. It is, after all, a silly kids film. Though I am quite silly, I’m unfortunately no longer a child. My 10-year-old brother didn’t watch it with me, so I don’t have his (perhaps more valuable) opinion to share. Yet I can’t imagine he’d enjoy this film. It’s simply too boring to enthrall younger children, and not nearly nostalgic enough to delight longtime fans. Skip this, and don’t even think of watching it in place of the original Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Tom & Jerry is available to stream on HBO MAX

Ratings Key:

★ – Bad (e.g., Transformers, Pixels, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Justice League

★★ – Mediocre (e.g., Incredibles 2, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Super 8, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)

★★★ – Good (e.g., Pretty in Pink, Batman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)

★★★★ – Great (e.g., Jurassic Park, The Empire Strikes Back, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Social Network)

★★★★★ – Amazing (e.g., Dr. Strangelove, The Terminator, Do the Right Thing, Toy Story, Parasite)