It’s not creepy, nor kooky, but all together ooky. It’s the Addams Family 2, a film that I honestly thought would never get made, or at least hoped wouldn’t. The Addams Family is a franchise that has been around for decades, beloved characters who have spawned animated series, live action films, and newspaper strips dating back to 1938 by American cartoonist Charles Addams.
The charm inhabiting these past iterations were missing from the 2019 CGI animated film, The Addams Family, and it was a shame; it had such potential. The voice cast was good, the score wasn’t bad, and the character designs were actually quite an appealing homage to the works that came before. The issues were in the film’s plot, pacing, flat jokes, dull colour scheme – which could be argued was the intention to create an eerie atmosphere – and supporting characters who were just plain boring. I’ll say it again: I never thought that this film would get a sequel, but enough revenue later and here we are – The Addams Family 2, a film that takes everything bad about the first film and does nothing to fix it.
The source material has so many ideas to draw from and the overall designs of the characters (the main ones at least) still feel somewhat appealing. It’s a shame, then, that everything else feels dull and flat. Here, the writers have opted for the generic holiday road trip format instead of actual character development. We have the same flat jokes, the same poor layout and pacing with none of the joy or beauty of the pre-00’s incarnations. Although we have the return of the solid voice cast (Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz) from the first film and fluid animation that moves well with weight and believability, these things do nothing to save us from climbing into the coffin of boredom and going to sleep eternally.
Of course, animation is not easy is not an easy craft; it takes a long time and a whole host of talented people to bring together a sequence full of heart and love. Often times, we can see that love pouring out onto the screen when we watch these features. The Addams Family 2, however, doesn’t feel like that. It feels heartless, soulless, empty and void of life.
It is a movie that feels like it is missing something, be it the subtle humour of Anjelica Huston’s line delivery in the 90s films or the creepy make-up design of Ted Cassidy’s Lurch in the 60s TV series. It just feels off. The villain isn’t memorable and, to be honest, the best part of the whole film is the running gag that Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) has had his DNA spliced with a squid and is slowly turning into one as a result. This is the most fun part of the movie, but even the voice talent of Kroll can’t save this from becoming lackluster after the first couple of jokes.
Now, there will be people that love this movie, and, of course, you should check it out for yourself before making presumptions. Opinions vary as much as ideas, that’s what makes us human. Personally, The Addams Family 2 struggles to find its place throughout its runtime, continually boring us with characters who are meant to be likeably boring – which, admittedly, is a balance very hard to get right. I hope that, going forwards, we don’t see a third installment, because I fear that Wednesday and the rest of the kooky clan won’t be able to stop the already dried-up well from completely turning to dust.