Combustible Celluloid
 
With: Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Jordan Bolger, Rob Delaney, Patsy Ferran, Pallavi Sharda, Colin Jost, Somi De Souza, Ajay Chhabra, Patrick Poletti, Janis Ahern, Ken Jeong, Camilla Arfwedson, Joe Bone, Christina Chong, Daniel Adegboyega
Written by: Kevin Costello, based on characters created by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
Directed by: Tim Story
MPAA Rating: PG for cartoon violence, rude humor and brief language
Running Time: 101
Date: 02/26/2021
IMDB

Tom and Jerry (2021)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Mouse Pad

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The makers of the new Tom and Jerry feature film did a smart thing by hiring writer Kevin Costello, who wrote the meta-movie Brigsby Bear and the meta-TV series Jean-Claude Van Johnson. It was a decent gamble to see what he might have come up with for a feature-length movie based on 7-minute cartoons in which a cat chases a mouse and continually gets the tar beat out of him. Unfortunately, while the movie does tend to stay true to the original characters, they become sidelined in a dumb, mainstream story about uninteresting humans. Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) plays a young, recently unemployed woman who cheats her way into a temp gig at a fancy hotel. Her superior Terence (Michael Peña) immediately distrusts her, but she soon becomes in charge of a huge, expensive wedding between Preeta (Pallavi Sharda) and Ben (Colin Jost). Her only problem is that Jerry the mouse has moved into the hotel and must be eliminated before anyone realizes there's a "rodent" problem. So Kayla hires Tom as her main mouse exterminator. Picture lots of stuff flying everywhere and lots of stuff being smashed. It's a great-looking movie — designed to look like hand-drawn, 2D animation layered over real-life — but it's also cluttered and noisy, occasionally giving way to a few genuine laughs, almost all of them from the classic cat-and-mouse chase. Perhaps it would have been better to stick to the 7-minute format. It's available in certain theaters and on HBO Max.

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