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The latest film based on the iconic duo of our childhood, Tom & Jerry, has finally come out early this year. It has been about a year since quarantine was instituted because of COVID-19, and movie companies have found alternative methods to make sure people can still watch the latest films at their homes. 

While the film’s name is “Tom & Jerry,” you would expect them to be the main two characters of this movie. The story is combining the real world in NYC with the two’s shenanigans. 

Unfortunately, after watching the film once, it seems that Tom & Jerry are more of the supporting cast than the two “stars of the show.” Throughout the movie, it focuses more on Kayla’s experiences more than Tom and Jerry.

The movie mainly focuses on Kayla Forester, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, and her experiences attempting to get a staff position at the Royal Gate Hotel. She wants to help plan the wedding of Ben (Colin Jost) and Preeta Sharda (Pallavi Sharda). Jerry makes his stay at the hotel but Kayla & Tom are up to the task of catching him and throwing him out of the hotel before news breaks out to the public. 

Before this film came out in late February, I was hyped that another film adaptation was coming out about the cat-and-mouse duo that I’ve watched since my early youth. On top of that, Chloe Grace Moretz from the 2011 film “Hugo” and Colin Jost from “Saturday Night Live” are in the movie.

I was hopeful and optimistic about the movie, and I’ve been waiting for it. As any film or theatrical adaptation, you’d hope it’ll “honor” the original, whether it’s a book, classic show or the first original film. 

The film was not exactly what I expected, and you can take that as both good and bad. You have the fellow characters from the classic show making their appearances in this film. It can rekindle childhood with the chaos that the two bring anywhere they go. 

However, the stars of the movie didn’t quite play like stars. Outside the fact that they had to be in the movie because it’s supposed to be about them, their screen-time or involvement isn’t quite what I thought. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Tom and Jerry,… unfortunately become secondary to Kayla’s quest to prove she can handle the job. The moments when neither are around particularly drag…”

The movie might as well be under a different name because Kayla, Terence (Michael Peña), and Mr. Dubros (Rob Delaney) are the main characters with more screen time than Tom and Jerry. What happens from Kayla’s experience gets more screen time than the two frenemies. 

On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience says “This updated take on the classic cartoon characters is good fun for kids — in fact, the main thing it’s missing is more Tom and Jerry.”

At least the majority of the animals involved in the film were animated. Say what you want about it, I think that’s better than trying to make them too realistic like the draft of Sonic (from the 2020 film). 

In terms of comedy, it wasn’t funny for the majority of the time. If you’re looking for laughs, I would recommend going back to the habit of watching the classic show instead. 

As one reviewer put it, the skits felt “unfunny, predictable and pretty much an excuse for not coming up with something newer.” Unoriginal and predictable because we’ve known them from the original Tom & Jerry.

Would I say it’s a family movie? Debatable. The reviews of this movie have been black or white. However, at least a majority of critics seem to be disappointed and bored from this movie. 

I’ll give credit where credit is due. The cast was great in their performance, but cannot be blamed for the storyline and the setup. 

It was interesting, to say the least, but it still didn’t quite live up to what I expected. I will recommend this movie if you want something more entertaining than a Hallmark channel soap opera movie. The characters whose names are stated in the title are pushed aside to be the supporting cast. 

Gibran Beydoun is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him @Gibran580MSCM.

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