Cinema Dispatch: The Addams Family 2

The Addams Family 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing

Directed by Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon

It’s no secret that I was not a fan of that 2019 Addams Family movie which was ten percent Addams Family goodness and ninety percent rote nonsense, and the prospect of seeing another one was a prospect I found altogether ooky; and yes, I think I used that joke in the last review.  Then again, watching more movies at home and being pickier about what I go out to see has perhaps led to me missing out on some genuine gems as well as, let’s face it, PLENTY of opportunities to write a darn good review of a truly awful movie.  Heck, there’s a Gods Not Dead 4 floating around out there that I haven’t even bothered to watch, and the reviews I did of the other sequels are pretty darn good if I do say so myself!  So yes, I went into this expecting to hate it which is a first for a movie this year, but in a way, it feels like returning to a comfortable routine as I continue to get back into the swing of things with more and more movies coming to theaters.  Is it somehow a surprisingly effective sequel that irons out the flaws of the original while giving us something new and fresh, or is it like every other sequel to a bad animated movie; just more of the same?  Let’s find out!!

The Addams Family are going through a rough patch as Wednesday Addams (Chloë Grace Moretz) is spending less and less time with the rest of the family and young Pugsley (Javon Walton) is working on his girl problems with Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) and you can probably guess how well that’s going.  With this in mind, Gomez (Oscar Isaac) with the tacit approval of Morticia (Charlize Theron) gathers the family together for a road trip across America to see its most ghastly landmarks and hopefully bring the family closer together.  All is not as simple as it seems however as some mysterious lawyer (Wallace Shawn) along with his giant associate Pongo (Ted Evans) are chasing the family on behalf of some mysterious benefactor who believes that Wednesday Addams may not be the daughter of Gomez and Morticia.  I mean OBVIOUSLY, right?  It’s not like they look anything alike!  Whatever scheme is being concocted with those guys, Gomez and Morticia want no part of it and are tactfully spiriting their family away whenever the lawyer catches up, but it’s only a matter of time before this all comes to a head.  How long can they keep this ruse going, and will it interfere with the family fun that Gomez is trying so hard to cultivate?  What is the reason that the lawyer is after Wednesday, and could there be something to his story that the Addams family doesn’t want to confront?  Doesn’t it kinda seem like they’ve given up if we’re already doing a road trip movie by the second one?  Even Alvin and the Chipmunks waited until the fourth film for that!

“What do you think!?” “Uh… good job?” “Don’t LIE to the child, Gomez!” “We’re supposed to be encouraging!”
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Cinema Dispatch: The Addams Family

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The Addams Family and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing

Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

I’ve actually been looking forward to this movie for quite some time.  Not in a BIG way, but everything I saw at first was very promising.  The new designs were quite good and the initial teaser seemed to have the right tone that retained what worked about these characters in the first place while making something that worked in a modern context.  After that though, once we got the trailers with more of the plot (and those terrifying human characters), the skepticism started to creep in and my enthusiasm waned as my attention turned elsewhere (*cough* Maleficient 2 *cough*) in the last month or so.  Still, a mediocre trailer is hardly a good barometer to how a movie will ultimately turn out (especially with so much of the marketing knocking it out of the preceding months), so were my negative feelings ultimately unfounded or did something go horribly wrong (and not in the good way) with this latest Addams Family venture?  Let’s find out!!

The Addams Family are a bunch of wealthy eccentrics who basically act like spooky monsters year round instead of just on Halloween.  The family consists of Patriarch Gomez (Oscar Isaac), possible vampire queen Mortitia (Charlize Theron), their daughter Wednesday  (Chloë Grace Moretz), their son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), Gomez’s mother (Bette Midler), the zombie butler who is IN NO WAY of any actionable resemblance to Boris Karloff known as Lurch (Conrad Vernon), and… I guess their OTHER butler who is just a hand called Thing.  Are they goths?  Murderous blue bloods?  If they were made in the mid nineties, would they all be Juggalos?  These are questions we may never get the answer to, but rest assured that whatever box they would most comfortably fit in, it’s one that will freak out the normies of the world whenever they happen to come in contact with them.  Said normies by the way are a bunch of nameless and nearly faceless upper middle class yuppies that built a community around the Addams family mansion and are just now realizing that there’s a spooky castle full of weirdos on top of the conspicuously nearby hill, and the head of the yuppies named Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) is none to please about it.  While this little pot of… I don’t know, spooky-phobia I guess, is brewing outside of the house, the Addams family itself is having a bit of tension as well as Gomez is trying to teach Pugsly a sacred family ritual known as The Mazurka but Puglsy seems to have no gift for it, and Morticia is trying to keep young Wednesday from falling into the wrong crowd; the kind that embraces unicorns, the color pink, and young pop stars.  Can the family stick together through these trying times both inside and out of the house?  Just how far will Margaux go to keep her little community nice and conformed now that this family has thrown a wrench in those plans?  Will The Addams family adjust to their new surrounds and join the rest of us in the living nightmare we all must suffer through under late stage Capitalism, or is that the wrong kind of terrifying for them?

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“A Panera Bread!?  AND a Chipotle!?”     “Ugh… it’s so GHASTLY commercial…”     “So is that GOOD ghastly, or BAD ghastly?”     “Well it’s BAD of course… but that’s actually good.  Because it’s bad…”

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