‘The Addams Family’ // Film Review: It Ain’t All That Creepy, Kooky, or Spooky

The familiarity with the concept of The Addams Family solely on the television shows that’s probably where goths got their inspiration. This isn’t the first time they brought Charles Addams’ creation to the big screen, as director Barry Sonnenfeld took the live-action approach back in the early 90s’ with Anjelica Huston and the late Raul Julia with the 1991 hit and its well-received sequel Addams Family Values just a couple years later. There was also a direct-to-video sequel with Tim Curry that we don’t talk about. But a new animated take didn’t sound terrible at first, especially with whom was attached and Sausage Party co-directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan taking charge. And yet, there’s very little to recommend about 2019’s Addams Family since it’s rather dull.

What’s the Story: The Addams family’s — Gomez (voiced by Oscar Isaac), Morticia (voiced by Charlize Theron), Pugsley (voiced by Finn Wolfhard), Wednesday (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz), Uncle Fester (voiced by Nick Kroll) and Grandmama (voiced by Bette Midler) — lives begin to unravel when they face-off against a treacherous, greedy, crafty reality-TV host Margaux Needler (voiced by Allison Janney) while also preparing for their extended family to arrive for a major celebration.

Charlize Theron and Oscar Isaac in The Addams Family (2019)

There’s no point in talking about the animation because it didn’t look good from the trailers. Nothing about it stood out or was even beautiful to look at. I just thought it appeared cheap. It gets points by making the designs of the Addams’ like the original cartoons. All the other supporting character’s looks don’t match. Even with its style in having these scenes of crazy antics and dark humor going about, they weren’t exactly funny at all. I only got one chuckle in the first act and nothing else in its 87 minutes.

Probably the best thing going for this is the vocal ensemble that brought to provide the voices of the characters. Isaac and Theron voicing Gomez and Morticia were great. If they actually made this live-action reboot, they would be perfect choices since Isaac is the ideal look for Gomez.

Plus, you also have Moretz, Wolfhard, Kroll, and Midler voicing the rest of the family. They do the best they can with what they’re working with, but not to their advantage. Mortez perfectly nails Wednesday’s deadpan delivery with her voice. Also, Snoop Dogg coming in to voice Cousin Itt was very pointless since it only speaks in gibberish, and I only assumed they needed a big name to voice it. But how dare they waste talents like Martin Short and Catherine O’ Hara for only one scene?

Another thing writers Matt Lieberman and Pamela Pettler got right was the depiction of the family and the way they behave. None of that is forgotten with these characters. They didn’t exactly make them modernized when they still have their abnormal characteristics. After all, their spooky mansion is surrounded by grey skies and lightning.

Because the family has stepped out of their home and comes across this community, not everybody will appreciate their unique style. That’s what we know what these characters for when it comes to liking dark things, not being joyful, or just being enjoying everything macabre. But there’s this obvious message about being different and never think someone is weird based on how they look or act. It would’ve been fine if they didn’t force it near the end and everybody instantly think of them differently.  A message like this is good for children, but at least it should be in better use for anything other than this.

Charlize Theron and Chloë Grace Moretz in The Addams Family (2019)

As this story progresses, it isn’t interesting for how poorly written the storytelling turned out to be. That’s mostly because of this stupid home improvement-type show that Janney’s one-dimensional villain runs, but you already know how she will turn out behind the scenes. There’s also this subplot about Pugsley training for his upcoming Mazurka that has little investment for its viewers to care about whenever it’s back on screen. That also comes with Wednesday attends junior high and becomes friends with Needler’s daughter Parker (voiced by Eighth Grade‘s Elsie Fisher) and embraces what it feels like to be a little normal felt bland. This didn’t seem like a proper Addams Family movie when there isn’t a clear focus on what’s going on.

After watching this, I didn’t understand why they released this in theaters and not as a special on Nickelodeon? Because of the names involved. But not make it lifeless like with what Tim Burton did with Dark Shadows. Maybe if it was given to a company like DreamWorks Animation, it would’ve been a little more decent, but there’s anything redeemable about this reboot when I feel like children will likely get bored by it. They’re likely better off with the Hotel Transylvania movies than this. Uglydolls is still the worst animated movie to come out in 2019, but I’m not scared to say this is a close second. This is already getting a sequel, so let’s hope it improves drastically. The only thing you’ll remember about this adaptation of The Addams Family is the catchy theme song.

Grade: D+

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