Friday, October 1, 2021

The Addams Family 2 Review: A Very Random Sequel

Release date: October 1, 2021
Running time: 90 minutes
Directed by: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloƫ Grace Moretz, Nick Kroll, Javon 'Wanna' Walton, Wallace Shawn, with Snoop Dogg as 'IT', with Bette Midler and Bill Hader

Everyone’s favorite spooky family is back in the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2. In this all new movie we find Morticia and Gomez distraught that their children are growing up, skipping family dinners, and totally consumed with “scream time.” To reclaim their bond they decide to cram Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and the crew into their haunted camper and hit the road for one last miserable family vacation. Their adventure across America takes them out of their element and into hilarious run-ins with their iconic cousin, IT, as well as many new kooky characters. What could possibly go wrong?

The Addams Family 2 has the same characters as the first film (and the classic series) in an entirely new scenario.  I do like the animated style of this as I think it translates better on screen.  I also like the kids angle as this gives kids a very different but equally funny set of characters.  It does seem to deal with some more grown up topics than I would have expected in a kids show, which was a nice change.  Having a smart, determined female lead character (as this movie is really a Wednesday Addams show) was a nice focus, and I did like that she was very different than what I'm used to.  And the story, although being quite random, does go to a lot of interesting places.  The road trip aspect is fun, though I did hope that there would be more association with "spooky" locations.  It seemed like that is the start, but after the first stop, they just seemed to go to conventional tourist areas.  

However, this movie is very random.  It feels almost like it was written by multiple people who could not decide on one thread.  There is an overarching conflict, but this seems to be just a loose thread that is added on later.  Overall, the movie could have been a much more focused endeavor, with a greater care in where they went and the overall situations that they got in.  And there are several very convenient explanations and happenings that help them along, again contributing to the disjointed and slapped together feeling of the story.  And although I know that some amount of sibling abuse is part of the characters, here it felt a little extreme.  There is one scene where Wednesday legit smothers Pugsly until he doesn't move, which felt a little too violent for a movie aimed at kids.  The setting of traps in the older series was funny, but those were also geared towards adults.  For a film that is set more towards kids it really felt like something I didn't want my kids to see / emulate.  And the film also had several characters that seemed very stereotypical.  But I guess if kids are the final barometer, they did enjoy the film and laughed at some of the more random ridiculous stuff.  So maybe the Addams Family folks they know their target audience better than I do.  

The Addams Family 2 has beautiful animation and a variety of locales in this strange road trip, but the random nature of the story and the violent sibling animosity make this a trip you might not want to take.

Pass on it.

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The Addams Family 2 is in theaters and on demand on October 1, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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