Genre: CG Animation
Director: Conrad Vernon
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Kroll, Javon 'Wanna' Walton, Wallace Shawn, Snoop Dogg as 'IT', Bette Midler, Bill Hader
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: UIP
Opening Day: 11 November 2021
Synopsis: 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 first animated Addams Family released in 2019 was a surprise hit. Made on a measly sum of $24 million in terms of Hollywood standard, the movie grossed almost ten times the budget which of course led to MGM and Bron greenlighting a sequel. After two brief years and probably thousands of hours clocked by the hardworking animators at Cinesite, we have a laughfree and formulaic sequel that will have you dashing for the exit after 30 minutes.
Instead of capturing the macabre humour of the original Charles Addams cartoons, the four credited writers pulled off a weak knockoff version of Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation. Do bear in mind that the Sandler animated franchise isn’t that fantastic in the first place. Instead of going on a cruise like what Count Dracula and gang did, the Addams decide to go on a road trip across America! You can already sense the amount of creativity that goes into it.
It all began when Gomez feels that the family is slowly drifting apart especially with Wednesday turning distant and antisocial as the days passes. Gomez feels that a road trip is the best way to renew their family bonds. Along with their butler Lurch, Uncle Fester and everyone’s favourite: Thing, the Addams set off to places liked Niagara Falls, Miami and the Grand Canyon. But things turned slightly complicated along the way when a lawyer and his oversized henchman at the behest of a scientist insist that Wednesday was switched at birth and she might not be the biological daughter of Gomez and Morticia after all.
For a movie aims at kids, the animated feature indeed offers a politically correct message about embracing your family members regardless of their traits and behavior. But before you get there, you need to wade through countless of stale comedy. If the numerous locations allow for a series of fresh comedy gags, I’m afraid there isn’t. There’s nothing funny watching Pugsley getting nearly drowned in the Falls or buried under sand. In fact, Pugsley is at the mercy of Wednesday in the entire movie that all the siblings bullying seems more painful than amusing. The only fun thing is watching Thing battling sleepiness while driving the Addams’ steampunk RV.
In supposedly an inspiring casting and page turner in the script, comedian Bill Hader voices Cyrus Strange, the bizarre scientist and self-proclaimed biological father of Wednesday. Hader always brings excitement to his voicework but in The Addams Family 2, he just seems lost and futile in bringing his character to life. And to add to that, we have basically no idea what Snoop Dogg is doing here playing Gomez’s hairy cousin named Itt. Of course, the strength of the movie again lies in the casting of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bette Midler and Nick Kroll all returning as the main members of the Addams. It would be way cooler to watch a reboot live-version of The Addams Family with this casting come to think of it.
As far as animated movies go, The Addams Family 2 ranks among the lowest for its sporadic laughs and not quite savvy visuals. Directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon who also returned for the sequel attempt to throw in one or two adult humour in the tween beauty pageant and a biker tavern sequences to no avail. It becomes clear that this is somewhat a forgettable rushed animation that never quite hit the right notes as compared to the original black-and-white television shows and the Barry Sonnefeld movies.
(Lifeless and dead. Trust us, we are not referring to the characters of the Addams Family)
Review by Linus Tee