James Jay Edwards

The Addams Family 2 Takes the Creepy Family on a Kooky Vacation

(The Addams Family 2, courtesy Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

James Jay Edwards reviews The Addams Family 2, a new animated film about the iconic Addams family first created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938. (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

 

Since its creation in 1938 by cartoonist Charles Addams, The Addams Family—that creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky family unit—has gotten a lot of mileage out of its intellectual property rights. Of course, there was the hit 1964 television series, but there was also a second live action series in 1998, as well as a pair of animated series in 1973 and 1992. A live action movie hit in 1991, spawning a 1993 sequel. And now, the 2019 animated movie gets its sequel with The Addams Family 2.

The Addams Family 2 does what many comedy sequels do—it takes its characters on vacation. After her disappointing finish in a school science fair, Wednesday Addams (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz from Greta and Kick-Ass) is in a funk. So, her parents, Gomez and Morticia (Ex Machina’s Oscar Isaac and Mad Max: Fury Road’s Charlize Theron), decide to take the family on a road trip to (where else?) Death Valley. The whole tribe, including Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, brother Pugsley (Javon “Wanna” Walton from Utopia), Uncle Fester (The League’s Nick Kroll), Cousin It (rapper Snoop Dogg), butler Lurch, and disembodied hand Thing all hop into a suitably scary recreational vehicle and light out for the territories. But in hot pursuit is an annoying attorney (Wallace Shawn from The Princess Bride) who claims that Wednesday is not really the child of Gomez and Morticia.

 

(The Addams Family 2, theatrical release poster, courtesy Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

With the exception of Javon Walton replacing Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley and a wholesale change in the army of screenwriters, the same people who brought The Addams Family to the world are also behind The Addams Family 2. In addition to most of the cast, directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon (the pair who also made Sausage Party) are both back. So, despite the stories being wildly different (which, let’s face it, is always a good thing), the continuity between the two movies is impressive. It’s pretty much more of the same.

Even with their world opening up, this is the same old Addams Family. As it should be. The story is interesting, the dialogue is clever, and the characters are just as crazy and likeable as they’ve ever been. The animation is slick and the music, well, let’s just say Snoop Dogg is involved and leave it at that. It’s a very well made modern animated movie, both from an artistic and a technical standpoint.

 

(The Addams Family 2, courtesy Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

One of the most universal things about The Addams Family in any form has always been how it appeals to both children and adults. The Addams Family 2 is also more of this. It’s a PG-rated animated movie, fun in a family way, but there are things included for the adults, too. Things that (hopefully) will go over the heads of the kids in a classic Looney Tunes way. You can take the kids to The Addams Family 2, but you just might enjoy it, too.

 


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Morticia and Gomez are charming, Uncle Fester is the comic relief, and Cousin It provides the cool factor, but for my money, Lurch steals the movie. Acting as the “protector” and servant of the family, the character commands every scene he’s in, and does it without any real lines of dialogue. Plus, he contributes a couple of the biggest surprises in the movie (no spoilers!). He’s a blast. The most fun character in the family translates into the most fun character on the screen. Keep your eyes on Lurch.

 

(The Addams Family 2, courtesy Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

The Addams Family 2 delivers exactly what it promises to deliver—it takes the altogether ooky family on vacation and shows them everywhere from Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon. It’s a fitting sequel for the animated universe. It’s not overly memorable in its own right, but it does keep its audience wondering what the fam will do next.

The Addams Family 2 is in theaters and On Demand now.

 

 

Check out the podcast Eye On Horror for more with James Jay Edwards, and also features Jonathan Correia and Jacob Davison.

 

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