A BLAND ENDEAVOR THAT
DOES NOT PIVOT CORRECTLY
Tom Jerry. The popular and iconic cartoon cat and mouse duo has been publicly represented for almost 80 years. Spanning a variety of programs to keep their gadgets going looks very much alive from one generation to the next. For those unfamiliar with these particular animated characters, the cartoon, originally created by Hannah Barbera (William Hannah and Joseph Barbera), revolves around the rivalry between the title characters of a cat named Tom and a mouse named Jerry Shorts with back and forth again also several recurring characters. Most of the Tom & Jerry cartoon shorts (as a whole) are considered violent cartoon gags in the animated story, with the couple usually going against each other with a variety of weapons and objects in retaliation. Although blood or blood is never depicted. Since the couple is not speaking (aside from a few screams, squeaks, and a few short dialogues), music plays an important role in highlighting the action and emotional aspects of the short film using traditional sound effects. Like the Scooby Doo franchise, Tom & Jerry have been hit by several studios over the years producing their animated short films, including Hannah Barbera (the original creators), MGM Cartoon Studios, Rembrandt Films, Chuck Jones, and a few others. over several animated short films, TV series and feature films. Now the Tom & Jerry cat and mouse team is returning to a theatrical performance as Warner Bro. Pictures Studios and director Tim Story present the live-action / animated hybrid project entitled Tom Jerry. Does the film find a balance between nostalgia and relevance in today’s film landscape or does it not leave a lasting impression with its hybrid feeling?
As enemies for life, Tom and Jerry experience another rivalry in their relationship as the kitty hopes to make a living as a musician in Central Park while the inventive mouse searches for a proper home in the vast urban landscape of New York City . After a recent encounter, Jerry finds his way to the Royal Gate Hotel, an extremely chic house in the “Big Apple”, which will soon be hosting the high-profile wedding of the mega social media tycoons of Ben (Colin) and Preeta ( Pallavi Sharda). While Jerry feels at home in the luxury hotel, Tom stays outside and faces pressure from rival cats like Butch (Nicky Jam) to inspire him to get off the streets. One such opportunity comes when Kayla (Chloe Grace Moretz), a unlucky young adult from the region, is secretly hired by Royal Gate hotel manager Mr. DuBois (Rob Delaney) to try and become a power player at the hotel upset Deputy Terrance (Michael Pena). Tom’s job is to catch Jerry. Named a hotel clerk, he works with Kayla to get rid of rodents before the big wedding. All animal gimmicks begin.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
As I grew up, I remember seeing a lot of cartoons and animated films as a child, especially many of the “classics” like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, and Tom & Jerry. With this particular cartoon series of animated shorts, I’ve always enjoyed it, especially when I’ve seen what the Katz and Maus teams would do to each other. When I was younger I actually felt sorry for Tom a few times, especially since he was hurt more by the two and was sometimes hit with a broom by the cartoon character Mammy Two Shoes, a heavy middle-aged black woman, now considered a racist stereotype ( always had the feeling that it was a little different with this figure and I was right about that). Anyway, as I mentioned, I remember that some of the earlier cartoon shorts for Tom & Jerry were a little more violent than most of the others, which is probably why the pair went through a bit of “branding” over the years. weaken the violent gag a bit than it used to be. From the various spin-offs I remember that I liked that Tom & Jerry Kids Show (1990-1993) and this opening song always rocked! Plus, I actually remember the first cartoon in which the couple starred, which is the 1992 movie Tom & Jerry: The Moviewhere Tom and Jerry actually had dialogues for the majority of the film. Definitely a first. I haven’t seen this movie in a while (may have to come back soon), but I can remember enjoying it and having moments of lightness and dramatic cartoon scenes. I haven’t seen much of Tom & Jerry after that, apart from the occasional old comic book reruns and some of their direct-to-TV (DTV) movie releases like Tom and Tom from 2013 Jerry’s big adventure and 2001 Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring. In the end, it’s pretty amazing that this animated duo survived the changing comic book eras. Tom & Jerry’s antics never get old.
This, of course, brings me back to talking about it Tom Jerry, a 2021 release that brings the two iconic cat and mouse characters back to life and finds them in a new cinematic medium. I can’t remember when, but I remember hearing that a Tom Jerry was in the works and that it would be a 3D animated / live action hybrid…. something similar to 1996 Space Jam and 2011 The Smurfs. I was a little suspicious, especially since the idea of getting Tom and Jerry to the big screen, for an animated hybrid with live action, is a risk. However, people and moviegoers will typically visit an old property for that sheer sense of nostalgia. This is probably one of the reasons they (the studio) decided to revive these two animated characters. Similar to the Scooby Doo franchise. After a while, I didn’t hear much about this upcoming project until I saw the movie trailer for the film, which showed how the film was going to be presented. Judging by the trailer alone, it looked like a mixed bag; Promises many of the classic Tom and Jerry gimmicks, but also adds that human “live action” element that doesn’t look right (to me). Even so, it looked like a very promising children’s movie, so I planned to see it when it was due to be released on February 26thth, 2021 and part of Warner Bros. are simultaneously releasing a series of films that will play in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service. due to the events of the COVID-19 pandemic. I could have seen the film in the cinema (it was an option), but I decided to see it Tom Jerry In the comfort of my own room and a few weeks after the first releases, finally time to express my opinion on the film. And what did I think of that? Well, as I originally thought, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Though not entirely unfortunate as some call it, Tom Jerry is a mediocre endeavor that has sparkles of amusement and amusement but nothing spectacular or memorable about it. Tom and Jerry are back, but given their involvement in this film and the film itself, that’s not something to really upset about.
Tom Jerry Tim Story is directing his earlier directorial work including such films Fantastic Four (and its continuation) as well as Barbershop and Think like a man. Given its affinity with many comedy feature films, Story seems like a suitable choice for bringing something like Tom and Jerry to the big screen, especially given that the animated cat and mouse are known for their comic antics at each other in wide ( and yet physical) actions. Story does a pretty good facet in that regard; Approximation Tom Jerry with an eye on kids and its target audience, which is a combination of the (maybe slightly older) juice box crowd and those who grew up with the two characters and the many misadventures they’ve had around the world for decades. But to be sure, make the story Tom Jerry a children’s film … through and through with many great characters and series of events that are very vivid and colorful; Offer a lot of humor and deserve a kind of silliness. I found the film itself to be pretty cute and funny, especially in that sense. It’s definitely not a perfect movie in the world of kid entertainment as the feature has numerous problems (more on that below), however Tom Jerry (like the character himself) should be viewed as “face value” and not so very deeply delved into something like a Pixar endeavor.
Perhaps the best strength the story has with the estate is honoring the characters of Tom and Jerry (which parts they are in) with nostalgia and the duo’s update for the modern age. While there are flaws in the film, what stands out most is the rivalry mischief Tom and Jerry get into, with the loads of shenanigans and violent cartoon fun that the two are known for. Of course, they’re toned down from the original animated shorts, but their inclusion in this new property, especially given the controversy in their direct-to-video films, is welcomed and has a sense of nostalgia. There are even some callbacks about some scenarios where Tom and Jerry try to address each other again. That made me happy as I went back a bit in my childhood with these two characters. In addition, Story decides to modernize the setting of the film. Creating a very vibrant and updated iteration of Tom and Jerry characters, and I think that was a smart move. Of course there are lessons to be learned and comedies abound, but the nostalgia is felt Tom Jerry are the best aspect that story makes in his film. I think anyone can agree with that.
As for the presentation of the film, Tom Jerry actually does a good job … and that’s a bit surprising. Of course, I wasn’t expecting anything great and / or blockbuster-esque, but for what it’s worth, I think the film did a pretty decent job of making its background setting and visual appeal pretty colorful and vibrant. Use the New York City urban landscape as the main backdrop for most of the film and have it all polished nicely. So the team behind the scenes of the film, including James Hambidge (production design), Niamh Coulter (set design) and Alison McCosh (costume design), are pretty good throughout the film and I think strengthens the project. I also have to commend the film’s visual effects team for bringing these cartoon characters to life. Rather than making Tom and Jerry (and all of their supporting animal friends) more hyper-realistic (something I feared), the film carries over these cartoon iterations in a more traditional animated way to their original cartoon counterpart. The concept can be a little confusing at first, but the overall visual look of all of these characters is pretty solid and I like how the film keeps the original look mostly intact (just update slightly for better graphics). While the film music composed by Christopher Lennertz gives the various scenes in the film a good musical composition, the music soundtrack selection for Tom & Jerry gives the project a lot to like. It offers an abundance of modern music that plays out the urban style of this cartoon world. I liked it.
Unfortunately, Tom Jerry is not the “big success” I think promising, as the project introduces more confusing notions of lackluster and general leniency to the process of the feature. How come? The biggest hurdle the movie can’t overcome is the simple fact that Tom Jerry doesn’t offer much… well…. Tom and Jerry. The two legendary cat and mouse duos are there and bring a lot of animated ease into their rivalry, but they are mostly pushed aside or play second fiddle for a large part of the human cast in the film. This ultimately makes her almost a supporting character. In addition, there is a certain sense that the film itself appears to be a product of two different film stories that have been thrown together (at random) to create Tom & Jerry. We (as viewers) spend more time sensing Kayla’s mishaps at the Royal Gate Hotel and her handling of Ben and Preeta’s upcoming wedding, which the film sometimes forgets to bring in Tom and Jerry. show up just to feel relevant to the picture. Heck, even the whole idea of including all of Tom and Jerry’s various supporting characters is a bit misrepresented in the movie and, while drawing and voice are punished, is for the most part shortened and feels almost entirely redundant. There’s a kind of nostalgia like “window dressing” and that’s it. All of this does Tom Jerry They feel like two different ideas that are forced to work together but don’t exactly go together.
Part of the problem arises from the way the project is guided by Story. While Story is good at bringing lightheartedness into comedic ease, he often manages it in very broad strokes; We’re throwing a wide tent through humor and current pop culture references to fuel the gag meter. This is almost a “double-edged” sword, as seen in much of his earlier directorial work (i.e. Ride along, Think like a man, waveetc) and most of the time the setup is shaky and poor execution. This is the case with Tom Jerry;; Finding story that frames the feature in a vast landscape that can’t really focus on what it really wants to investigate. Perhaps that’s why the movie itself feels like a jumble of ideas and characters, with Story trying to bring many of the different points of view and characters in the movie under one roof in a very broad sense that doesn’t really resonate finds. even for a children’s film. The truth is, a lot of the movie feels half-hearted, with Story not really taking into account the crazy antics of the feature and still keeping the movie wide when it’s supposed to be a smaller endeavor. especially when it comes to focusing on Tom and Jerry rather than the rest of the cast. Of course, Story knows how to stage big events in a movie, but everything feels chaotic and ends up getting louder and more chaotic. This is most evident in the climatic moments of the film in the second half of the feature film, which bring no sense of urgency to the process and feel almost a little lackluster. And that’s basically all Tom & Jerry… Nothing really stands out. Well, maybe the animation, but that has more to do with visual effects than with the actual shape of the film. Overall, Story doesn’t really know how to land his own plane with this film.
Another major criticism must be the script of the film, which was written by Kevin Costello. Of the story itself, it may be half-hearted at best, with lots of plot holes and random narrative paths leading the film to unnecessary things. There’s just a lot going on throughout the film, which brings most of the movie’s characters (and their respective storylines) on track. rendering a lot of what is happening in Tom Jerry very boring and uninteresting. Basically, the movie could (or should) have been leaner and had a better approach to intellectual property. Even beyond that, the script itself feels pretty bland and formulaic, which embodies the general breadth that plagues the direction of the story as well as a half-hearted concept. The biggest problem with this performance lies in the subplot of millionaires Ben and Preeta and their big wedding. It’s all poorly presented and almost seems like a distraction from what the movie should really be focusing on, which is Tom and Jerry themselves, or even Kayla’s story. It’s all rendered very superfluously and acts as such. Finally, Tom & Jerrys The script is interrupted by an attempt to serve too many masters and come out as predictable and very vanilla in its execution.
The man interjected Tom Jerry is a bit mixed up, much like Story’s earlier comedy endeavors, with selective acting talents either a bit broad in their acting talents / characters and a bit cheesy (in a sort of moan). This is most prevalent in the film’s protagonist and antagonist characters, with actress Chloe Grace Moretz starring in Kayla and actor Michael Pena in the Villian role of Terence. Moretz, best known for her roles in great, If i stay, Neighbors 2, has appeared in many films over the years and has certainly built a reputation as a somewhat up and coming star for a young actress. in the Tom JerryHowever, it is only okay. Moretz is sure to be fine as the young girl with the big eyes and the young artist from Kayla, and she admits to that person throughout the film. Unfortunately, it still feels a bit conventional for a kids’ movie and (like Story’s earlier endeavors) is a bit too broad in terms of characterization. Likewise Pena, known for his roles in Ant man, fantasy island, and The Martianseems to be almost underutilized in the film; Playing the character of Terence as a comic book villain rather than a major threat. Yes, he’s more of the “troublemaker” in the film, but his villainy is broadly painted and so is his demeanor. On the other hand, I feel like most of the cast knew what type of movie Tom & Jerry was going to be, and certainly played the inherited breadth of goofy behavior. Still, it’s a shame that both Moretz and Pena were fixated on being a sillier character construct as both turned out to be better.
Of the supporting cast, actor Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2 and bomb) gives the best performance (or at least the most memorable) in the role of Mr Dubros, the manager at the Royal Gate Hotel. There’s not much for him in terms of character development, but Delaney makes him stand out more than the rest of the character cast. Maybe it’s his voice. Who actually comes off worst in the film is the subplot of Ben and Preeta’s two wealthy millionaires, written by writer / actor Colin Jost (How to be single and Coming 2 America) and actress Pallavi Sharda (lion and pulse). These two’s acting is okay at best, but their overall characters are portrayed so horribly that I didn’t really care about them at all. Even the script has no idea how to deal with it. Ben and Preeta are rather unforgettable in the film.
Even the film’s supporting human characters seem a bit stocky and almost superfluous for the film itself. The perfect example of this is Cameron, a bartender at the Royal Gate Hotel, who quickly becomes friends with Kayla. Played by actor Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders and The 100) the character looks a bit shaky and almost like a forced love interest in the main human character in the film. And unfortunately nothing materializes beyond this point; to quickly make the character of Cameron unforgettable. The rest of the human cast, including actor Ken Jeong (the Hangover and Crazy Rich Asians) as head chef at the Royal Gate Hotel named Chef Jackie, actress Christina Chong (Bulletproof and Black mirror) as receptionist at the Royal Gate Hotel, Lola, actor Daniel Adegboyega (6 subsurface and Transformers: The Last Knight) as Gavin the Doorman at the Royal Gate Hotel and actress Patsy Ferran (Jamestown and God’s own country) as bellhop for the Royal Gate Hotel called Joy. Most of their characters are pretty boring and only snippets off the plot. The acting is fine, but most of them are nothing in the grand scheme of things Tom Jerrywhich is disappointing.
From the animated characters Tom and Jerry (of course) are pretty much the “main attraction of the film” and are perfectly visualized in the film. Of course, they don’t have voices, but their physical gags and rivalry speak for themselves in the film. However, as I mentioned above, Tom and Jerry are often pushed aside in the movie, which is quite disappointing. In addition, old confidantes from the Tom and Jerry estate appear in the film, and some offer voice work, including musician Nicky Jam as the black-and-white street cat named Butch, actor Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire and Blue jasmine) as the brutal bulldog named Spike and actor Lil Rel Howery (Go out and uncle Drew) than the classic angel and devil characters of Tom’s moral judgment. Most of the language talents in these animated roles are good, but their characterization and involvement in the film are the point of criticism; rendering most of it in a more gratuitous way and not as important to the main plot of Tom & Jerry. Besides, most of them are only supporting roles and that’s it. Such a waste of potential.
Tom and Jerry are back and ready to take their crazy rivalry antics to the Big Apple by wreaking havoc in the movie Tom Jerry. Director Tim Story’s latest film takes the classic cartoon object and brings it into the modern age. Splicing the function with CGI animation characters in a live action setting. While the “cat and mouse” routine of Tom and Jerry’s rivalry is nostalgic and fun, and the production quality is there, most of the film feels like a half-baked movie, especially considering the direction of the film, a poor script, the a lack of sense of urgency, confusing plot shifts, weaker characters, wasted acting talent and sometimes pushing aside the two main characters in the film for human. Personally, the movie found itself in a strange area where it was mediocre okay and disapprovingly “meh”. It wasn’t as bad as some imagine, but it’s far from being really good. It’s just a shame Tom and Jerry didn’t make a splash on this venture, and that’s disappointing. Although this is a kids’ movie and I’m sure the young juice box crowd will likely get more miles out of this movie than the adult crowd. So my recommendation for this film is both a “dubious choice” and a “skip” while some like it (mostly the target audience), but a large majority will see the project in a less favorable light. While the end of the film seems to hint at a possible follow-up in further sequels from Tom and Jerry, that idea seems pretty unlikely (at least to me that it will be). In the end, despite the nostalgia of the shenanigans that comes with the legendary cartoon characters, Tom Jerry In the end, it’s a colorful noise machine with a passable endeavor that never really gets going. There is no opportunity to put the beloved cartoon cat and mouse duo back into the spotlight.
2.4 out of 5 (Iffy Choice / Skip It)
Published on: February 26, 2021
Reviewed on: March 17, 2021
Tom Jerry is 101 minutes long and is rated PG for cartoon violence, rude humor, and short language