The Addams Family 2: A sequel more silly than spooky
One of the surprise hits of 2019 was the animated reinvention of The Addams Family, a slight comedy that captured the creepy fun that makes the clan so enduring. After some delays, the all-star cast are back with the inevitable sequel, taking this spooky show on the road.
The Addams Family remain blissfully happy in their gloom, with the exception of Wednesday (voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz). The gifted youngster feels distant from her family, much to the horror of her doting father Gomez (Oscar Isaac). Determined to keep them together, he concludes that the remedy for their situation is a roadtrip across the country. Supported by his elegant wife Morticia (Charlize Theron), the vacation quickly descends into chaos as they are pursued by a brilliant scientist (Bill Hader) claiming to be Wednesday’s real father.
The main attraction of the first film was watching the family do what they do best: Pugsley blowing things up, Wednesday planning new methods of torture, their parents tangoing through the madness. But there was a narrative thread poking fun at gentrification keeping everything in line.
Here the film simply tears across the country looking for a reason to be. The visual gags are present, with highlights including Lurch channelling Gloria Gaynor, a repeatedly interrupted proposal, and Uncle Fester turning into a squid. Too often, however, it’s just a bunch of things happening at once without really moving the plot forward.
Of the cast, Moretz is arguably the busiest as she goes on a journey of self-discovery. The rest are there to fill in the gaps, and perhaps the biggest waste are Gomez and Morticia. As spirited as Isaac’s performance is, the character is missing that bombastic edge that makes him so memorable, becoming an overly touchy-feely parent with a lot of his darkness absent. Repeat appearances from Snoop Dogg’s Cousin It aren’t as hilarious as the film thinks they are, but he does lift a mundane subplot in which Fester (Nick Kroll) teaches Pugsley (Javon Walton, replacing Finn Wolfhard) about how to attract women.
The Addams Family 2 may not stand up to too much scrutiny, however it will serve as a gentle distraction for younger viewers looking for some not-so-scary Halloween fun.