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MOVIE REVIEW: Live adaptation of ‘Tom and Jerry’ falls short of expectations

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(Illustration courtesy of Momokacma)
By Stephanie Arenas

Longtime fans of the “Tom & Jerry” franchise have been disappointed and heartbroken.

What began as a 1940’s animated cartoon series created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera transformed into an entire franchise of spin-offs, video games and even movies.

A more recent adaptation of the two characters was the premiere of the live action film “Tom & Jerry: The Movie,” which was released Feb. 26. 

The movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Kayla Forester, a young woman who lies her way into getting a management position at the Royal Gate Hotel.

During her first day at work, Jerry the mouse is found stealing items from guests of the hotel. Kayla is then tasked with getting rid of Jerry once and for all.

As a means of keeping her job, Kayla enlists the help of Tom the cat and chaos soon commences.

While the idea in itself feels sort of refreshing for any “Tom & Jerry” fan, the film as a whole feels bland and absolutely boring. 

The actors in this film do not feel like real people. Of course, this is just a children’s film but that does not excuse the horrific performances.

For instance, Moretz’s character is fired from her previous job toward the beginning of the film. Any normal person would react with panic or concern, right? Well, not Moretz.

Rather than the character reacting like a normal person, Moretz’s character reacts in the most dull and uncaring way possible. It’s almost as if Moretz had no real interest in the movie and was only doing this performance for the heck of it.

Speaking of her character, this movie should instead have been titled “Kayla: The Movie,” as the main focus is really on her. By the trailers, it seems as though Tom & Jerry would play a huge role in this film, however, that is not the case as they really remain in the background.

It just seems ridiculous that the filmmakers would even decide to take this route for the cat and mouse duo. The audience is paying for the timeless Tom & Jerry humor, not for a character that it does not care for or or know anything about.

The classic Tom & Jerry humor is simply not there. A typical Tom & Jerry short or film includes the two characters battling it out in the most violent and slapstick comedy way.

In this case, the characters are simply just chasing each other for the entirety of the film. Jerry gets a good punch out of Tom in the beginning, but that’s pretty much it.

Overall, “Tom & Jerry: The Movie” is a disappointing adaptation to a beloved franchise. Unless you are under the age of 12, I simply don’t see how anyone could find any real joy out of this movie.

If you are really interested in watching a good “Tom & Jerry” film, then I highly recommend “Tom & Jerry: The Fast & The Furry.”

This film stays true to the original characters and story. It is entertaining, unique and filled with the classic slapstick comedy formula. In my opinion, this movie is infinitely better than that other pile of garbage.

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