The macabre caricatures of Charles Addams began to appear in The New Yorker in the 1930s, and continued in the pages of the magazine for the next 50 years, delivering gleefully morbid jokes in a single panel about murders, monsters, and magical curses. Beheadings were a favorite subject, as was a Gothic group that came to be known simply as the Addams family, in honor of their creator. They played with crossbows, poured hot oil over Christmas carols, guillotined wrists, stole stop signs, and loved gloomy weather. It was not until making the switch to television in 1964 They took on names, personalities, and a catchy and exciting song (“They’re creepy and eccentric / mysterious and creepy” etc), not to mention a family of rivals in boring suburban Munsters. . There were animated series, Scooby Doo crossovers and TV specials, but the definitive interpretations, by consensus, are the nice and funny ones from 1991 Addams Family movie and its sequel, Addams Family Values, which benefited from excellent casting and a good dose of the grotesque.
Which leads us to The Addams Family 2, the largely apathetic following of the forgettable Addams Family animated movie that came out two years ago. As always, we have the Addams: loving parents Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron); children Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Javon “Wanna” Walton); stupid, beefy Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll); creepy giant butler Lurch (co-director Conrad Vernon); and the wacky grandmother (Bette Midler). The character designs are ugly (Wednesday, for example, has an eggplant-shaped head) and the animation is mostly uninspired, but the basic idea of the Addams is that they are, in fact, a more loving family and balanced than the average American household, is it there? What’s missing, among other things, is the black humor that is the very reason for the Addams family.
Instead, the characters breakdancing, lip-syncing to pop songs, and generally doing the kinds of things characters do in generic mass-produced family movies. A good example of missed opportunities is the premise, in which the Addams go on vacation to strengthen family ties. With the disembodied hand known only as Thing at the wheel, they load an oversized steampunk hearse from an RV and head out on a cross-country road trip. This in itself is a decent idea; America is nothing more than a nation of strange tourist traps, and it’s easy to imagine the Addams making themselves at home at the Winchester Mystery House, the Mütter Museum, or the House On The Rock. Addams Family 2However, he sends them to visit Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. The result looks even more boring than it sounds. (Cynics might conclude that these types of large, bright environments are probably much cheaper to model and animate.)
Clumsily plotting messy sitcom juggles a variety of B and C plots. Brainy Wednesday, reimagined as a less funny Lisa Simpson, suspects she’s adopted; Pugsley tries to impress the girls; The grandmother, abandoned to her fate, throws a raucous party at the mansion. There’s a Silicon Valley tech wizard named Cyrus Strange (Bill Hader) in the mix, and a massive amount of filler, mostly in the form of musical numbers and montages, involving both overlapping classics (“Jump Around,” “I Will Survive “) and original pop-rap no one would listen to of their own free will. That leaves most of the ghoulish antics to Uncle Fester, the only character someone seems to have had fun cheering with; Full of octopus genes on Wednesday for a science fair project, he spends most of the movie transforming into a tentacled monstrosity.
These occasional injections of body horror antics for kids only serve to highlight the laziness of the rest of the movie; no one actually says, “Well, that it just happened, ”but considering the quality of the writing, they might as well. Since we live in an era of franchise hyperinflation, there are, of course, more Addams Family content in the pipeline; Netflix is reportedly preparing a show that will play some kind of teenage psychic detective on Wednesday., with Tim Burton directing. Burton’s perspective of the last days in Dark shadows The mode may not look too promising, but it’s probably better than the Cousin ItThe origin story or the dark reboot of Lurch we will get it in two or three years.