Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family — Gomez (voice of Oscar Isaac), Morticia (voice of Charlize Theron), Pugsley (voice of Finn Wolfhard), Wednesday (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz), Uncle Fester (voice of Nick Kroll) and Grandmama (voice of Bette Midler) — are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler (voice of Allison Janney) realizes that the Addams’ eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighborhood.
To say that The Addams Family are an interesting and highly comedical group of horror characters would be quite the understatement to say the least. They are essentially a band of horror characters that live together and get up to insanely zany antics, and since a ton of them are monsters, often do things much differently than people on Earth do things.
This is one of the reasons why I personally enjoyed the 1998 sitcom The New Addams Family – it treated them like sitcom characters, and that is what they practically are. Yes, they are definitely a dark group of people and it is a ton of fun to watch them do darkly humorous things for a couple hours.
Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan’s new film The Addams Family follows in a similar vein by taking the beloved family and making them much more humorous than some iterations have made them. Whereas the 1991 Barry Sonenfeld directed film aimed to make them a bit more dark, this film is not as interested in that, which some people are taking issue with. I can understand why if you are somebody who adores the darker side of The Addams Family, but I personally enjoy both takes on the family, and this movie offers us that.
When it comes to the voice cast present in this movie, it is incredible. There are a ton of recognizable voices such as Isaac, Theron, Kroll and even Snoop Dogg as Cousin Itt. Each and every one of them delivers a really great voice performance and they genuinely do embody their characters perfectly. Plus, when the time comes to deliver the comedic goods, they do so almost effortlessly.
It is also a blast to watch all of the mischief that the family gets up to while this movie progesses. Pugsley’s idea of fun is to run around the house firing explosives at his father, Wednesday’s idea of fun is to shoot crossbows, and Morticia occassionally enjoys eating a fancy meal up at their local cemetery. Watching all of this craziness unfold in front of us makes for quite the wild and entertaining treat.
However, there are quite a few issues with The Addams Family, with the biggest flaw being with the character of Margaux Needler, voiced by Allison Janney. This is, quite literally, the definition of a clichéd movie villain. Throughout the course of the film, the writers Matt Lieberman and Pamela Pettler, never flesh out Margaux to make her an understandable character. Her motives are completely unclear. For me, the best villains of all time are all villains who you can understand. You do not necessarily agree with their actions they are taking in order to achieve their goals, but you do understand what they want and why they are doing whatever they are doing. Margaux is a villain that just wants to thwart the Addams Family’s plans because they are different than her.
Although the message of the movie, that being that you should not treat people negatively just because they are different than you, is an amazing message for children to take home, it does not get introduced until much later on, and Margaux as a character just did not work.
Also, the humor, while really great for the most part, does not work one hundred percent of the time. There were some moments in which I was genuinely laughing and smiling from ear to ear, but there were also a lot of times in which I found the humor to be a complete miss. Sometimes, the humor is aimed towards adults and sometimes it is aimed at the youngest of children, including a fart joke.
Finally, some sequences just did not need to be in the movie at all, which made the movie drag during some parts. Gratefully, the majority of the film is always moving and fast paced, with a running time of only eighty seven minutes. It usually is a lot of fun to watch and will make for a fun watch for families.
Even though The Addams Family suffers with its villain and gets bogged down with pointless scenes, it makes up for it with great humor, funny characters, and a great moral.
Overall Grade: B-
MPAA Rating: PG for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Allison Janney
Directed by: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Distributed by: United Artists Releasing (United States), Universal Pictures (International)
Running Time: 87 minutes