‘Tom and Jerry’ attempts to cash in on nostalgia and fails

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Remember how everybody’s favorite part of the classic Tom and Jerry cartoons was the human characters? And the poop jokes?

Because that’s what you’re going to get if you turn your HBO Max subscription over to the new live action “Tom and Jerry” movie. How else is Hollywood going to drag out that famous duo into a feature length film?

But there is some good news: if you already have HBO Max then the original cat and mouse cartoons are also at your streaming fingertips. Watch those instead.

In the new film, in classic Tom and Jerry fashion, cat chases mouse, mouse chases cat, and one or both of them get bonked on the head a couple times. In not so classic fashion, the movie also stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a small time con artist who lies her way into a big hotel job in New York City just in time for the wedding of the century. Can she handle the hotel’s new rodent problem in time to make sure love wins in the end?

“Tom and Jerry” is not a good movie. It is a low effort attempt to cash in on the familiar name brand. It accomplishes the basic functions of a movie, and the basic functions of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, but that’s about it. The only really good thing you can say about this movie is that a lot of probably good people got paid to make it, so at least some people are still employed in this pandemic — though it was probably filmed before Hollywood shut down.

This is a movie that combines live action performances with traditional 2D animation, but it does not look like anybody tried very hard. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” did it better, and that came out more than 30 years ago.

Every single aspect of this film feels like a half-measure, not just the blended animation. The script is weak, the jokes are flat, the story is basic and full of cliches, and the acting is serviceable. “Tom and Jerry” is a movie made with no real concern, least of all to the classics.

This movie was made by people who probably assume parents are desperate for anything to turn on in front of their children, and who probably think that children are idiots. There are enough cartoon antics and mild violence that children will probably watch, but you owe your children more than having them watch the new “Tom and Jerry” movie. As I mentioned before, just turn on the old short cartoons from the 1940s and 50s. I bet those still hold up.

Hollywood loves taking classic cartoon characters and putting them into love action movies. Hollywood also seems to love not really bothering to make these movies worthwhile. It has happened again with “Tom and Jerry.”

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