Linda Cook review: ‘Tom and Jerry’ isn’t for kids … or anybody else

Local News

There’s just nothing like yukking it up with your kids over a dead-body chalk outline, thievery, avarice and body-function jokes.

That’s, apparently, what the folks at Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Max, behind the new release of “Tom & Jerry: The Movie” were thinking when they created this awful excuse for “family” entertainment.

I was foolishly hopeful for this movie to be at least tolerable, because I grew up on Tom & Jerry cartoons, as did multiple generations of other viewers. The duo of the constantly battling Tom the Cat and Jerry the Mouse (named after the holiday drink) has endured for more than 80 years.

I figured the live-action combined with animated characters might be fun. Was I ever wrong.

We meet the cat and mouse in New York City, where Tom is playing a keyboard in the park and Jerry is looking for a place to stay. That’s where Jerry sees the chalk outline and decides the spot is not for him.

Eventually, the two find themselves battling it out at the Royal Gate Hotel, where Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) is looking for a job. She pretends to be someone she isn’t, is cruel to another candidate and steals the other woman’s resume.

She is rewarded with a job helping with a high-profile wedding.

Kayla works with a manager (Michael Pena) who is tasked with making the soon-to-be-newlyweds comfortable and providing them with a perfect wedding.

After the mouse is discovered, Kayla is ordered to get rid of him. So she hires Tom.

Tom and Jerry are not so much the focus of the movie as Kayla is. No child viewer is going to be interested in Kayla’s plight, or the wealthy couple, or the human characters’ dialogue that sometimes rambles on as if to fill out the running time.

The wedding couple characters are shallow and uninteresting. Rather than add to the story, they detract from it.

I won’t go into the body-function humor except to say it’s present, and it makes the proceedings even more coarse and unlikeable.

Maybe the next Tom & Jerry project will actually be family fare. This one certainly isn’t worth chasing down.

½ star

Running time: One hour and 41 minutes.

Rated: PG for coarse “humor.”

At Cinemark, Davenport, and Palms 10, Muscatine; and streaming on HBO Max.

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