Alright, I didn’t originally plan on watching Tom and Jerry for a review. There just weren’t that many other options. And while I would’ve loved to watch a screening of Chaos Walking to get a good laugh, there weren’t any showings nearby that didn’t require a bit of a drive. So I was stuck with this.
I’ll also add that I didn’t expect to have any sort of invested emotions about this movie. I just kind of put it on while I was making dinner. But I eventually started paying more attention to it.
Was it any good? I have to say, I think there is a decent Tom and Jerry remake under this movie. But I think a lot of that potential is squandered with all the useless bits of this movie. And I know, I know. It’s a kids movie. And don’t worry, I plan on critiquing it as such, which isn’t hard. I grew up loving the old cartoons of Tom and Jerry. Definitely a favorite amongst all the Looney Tunes and Disney cartoons I also love. So it’s not hard for me to view this movie through the lens of the child-version of me.
So what’s good about this movie? First of all, I have to say that I’m just very glad that they went the route they did with the animation of the original characters. In a world of the Alvin & the Chipmunks movies, Detective Pikachu, and the Garfield movies, I’m pleased that they decided not to CGI these characters and went the more “hand-drawn direction”—for the most part. But this movie’s animation is more like 3-D models with 2-D animation slapped on top of it. It works for the most part. It’s at least better than using 100% CGI.
I can also say that the moments that I enjoyed the film the most were when it was just Tom and Jerry and their friends on screen. It really did feel like classic Tom and Jerry. The slapstick felt classic. Their comedy was pretty good. I chuckled a few times. I feel like whoever was over the actual Tom and Jerry part of the film really tried hard to show the spirit of the original cartoons.
But that’s the problem: Tom and Jerry barely have as much screen time as their human, live-action co-stars. This film follows basically the same structure as all those other “old cartoons turned into a live-action remake” movies where we’re introduced to these uninteresting human characters and Tom and Jerry are thrown in and chaos ensues. It’s so overdone that I’m really surprised that we’re still seeing these kinds of movies being made.
We’re forced to care about these characters that are unlikable and we’re left wondering why we’re not watching the more interesting cartoon characters. Like, seriously, I don’t even want to talk about these characters and the whole plot of the movie because it is so pointless and boring. All we really want is to watch Tom and Jerry run around and hit each other. Not only did I not enjoy the human parts of it, but I don’t see any kids being interested with anything that’s going on with the other characters. I feel like Tom and Jerry are only in like thirty percent of the movie.
The comedy with the human characters is also really bad. You have so many actors who aren’t funny trying to be funny. The writing of it also just seems like really awkward SNL-like humor. I just want everyone to shut up and let me watch a cat and mouse chase each other!
When I think about it, though, I wonder… Why are we bothering trying to make a full-length feature out of these guys anyway? We’ve done it a billion times and I don’t think they’ve ever been successful. Why are we trying to turn a 10-minute cartoon into a 90-minute-or-so film? Honestly, you could trim down this movie of its bad parts and be left with like thirty minutes. They were obviously really trying to spread this concept thin.
If you really want to reboot these characters, why not just go back to the classic 10-minute episode format and make a new show? Just use the same team you had for the movie who did all the animations and you’d be set.
I don’t think any of the filmmakers really cared about this movie. It was just a big paycheck and it shows. Whatever happened to TV shows and movies made for kids that were made by people who actually cared about what they were doing?