The Addams Family
3 out of 5 Stars
Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Writers: Matt Lieberman, Pamela Pettler, Erica Rivinoja, Charles Addams (Characters)
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz
Genre: Comedy, Animated
Rated: PG for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action.
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Having been chased from their previous home, the Addams family takes up residence in an abandoned mental hospital in New Jersey. Life is perfectly miserable until a home remodeling program decides to build a utopian city at the bottom of the hill.
Review: As someone who enjoyed the original television series and the films, particularly “Addams Family Values,” I wasn’t sure that I wanted an updated animated version. I’m still not certain after watching the film as “The Addams Family” is well intentioned, but stumbles as it makes its case for contemporary relevancy.
Still, there are moments when the writing works quite well as the placement of Addams Family in the modern world offers its share of comedic opportunities. Sadly, there’s nothing new done with Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron), but Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) has a few new quirks and Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) provides the best bits of the film as she dips her toe into mainstream culture.
The subtext surrounding Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) struck me as a bit off, but I’m hopefully reading too much into the ambiguity of his criminality. Stunt casting Snoop Dogg as It, a character that never actually speaks a coherent line of dialogue, serves little to no purpose (other than to have him appear on the song that plays as the credits roll).
The film’s themes of acceptance are heavy-handed. The script also exudes more confidence in humankind than I’m currently willing to give us. Still, sometimes seeing someone make a bold decision, even if the character is completely imaginary, inspires bravery in those who witness it.
The good news is “The Addams Family” doesn’t feel like a “Hotel Transylvania” clone. I wish the script was sharper, but there’s enough here to recommend the film for those who are looking to celebrate the Halloween season in a family-friendly way.