‘Addams Family 2’ Movie Review: Addams Family Values Too
The 2019 Addams Family proved the classic sitcom and ’90s movie could work in modern CGI animation. It had a good message about accepting people who are different. The Addams Family 2 takes it to the next level, just as the live-action Addams Family Values did in 1993.
Not that The Addams Family 2 is as profound as Addams Family Values. The animated sequel does involve family values, though, and does build upon what the first animated movie established.
‘The Addams Family 2’ is a Wednesday Addams movie
Focusing on Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) is always a good idea. Wednesday is at that stage where kids rebel against their parents. In any family, it’s normal for budding teenage girls to reject the former daddy’s girl status. In the Addams Family, Wednesday’s rebellion is gleefully destructive.
This coincides with Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) taking the family on a road trip across America. They visit real sights, rendered vividly in colorful animation with the black and white Addams clan contrasting nicely. This is a road trip that rivals any the Griswolds went on. Gomez may not be as bumbling as Chevy Chase, but Fester (Nick Kroll) sure is.
The film pretty much abandons a subplot about Grandma (Bette Midler) staging home housesitting, but the road trip story follows through. The Gomez/Wednesday story sidelines Morticia and Pugsley (Javon “Wanna” Walton), so the balance isn’t entirely fair.
Addams Family rebellion
The Addams Family always rebelled against social norms with their macabre inclinations. So for Wednesday to rebel even against her clan is something. The Addams Family 2 never quite achieves the high of the Thanksgiving play in Values, but Wednesday has some clever ways to terrorize the normies, or her brother Pugsley, at every stop on the road.
Wednesday’s natural rebellion coincides with a switched at birth plot. A lawyer (Wallace Shawn) chases the Addamses on the road claiming Wednesday wasn’t their daughter anyway. For most kids watching The Addams Family 2, this will be the first time they’ve seen such plot, so the lessons will be surprising and valuable.
For those viewers more familiar with such tropes, you’ll see where it’s going but it doesn’t devalue the father/daughter story. There’s great banter between Wednesday and Gomez.
A spirited, animated comedy
Animation allows the Addamses to be a bit weirder than they could in live-action, at least without employing daredevil stuntmen. There’s plenty of animated chaos in Addams Family 2 from a science fair to Fester juggling babies. Thanks to the deft visual artists, it’s all harmless.
Letting the Addams Family out of their home lets them bring their irreverence on the road, too. Sicking the Addams Family on the real world is always where they’re funniest. There are some well placed Canada jokes and a running gag that effectively follows the comedy rule of threes. Anything that happens twice must happen three times. There are a few subtle Top Gun and Caddyshack jokes, too. You don’t need to know films to appreciate but if you do, they’re even better.
It’s great to have The Addams Family back. Their latest adventure explores the family in relatable ways, through the unique lens of the macabre clan. It’s entertaining for the whole family with some themes and jokes that will make longtime Addams fans feel the sequel respects the family.
The Addams Family 2 is now playing in theaters and available on VOD.