The Addams Family

  • 26 Oct - 01 Nov, 2019
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

After a brief prologue depicting the morose wedding of sophisticated Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) and his proudly icy bride Morticia (Charlize Theron), where they are chased out by a mob with torches and pitchforks, they set their sights on a life someplace suitably horrible and despicable. And then quickly move to New Jersey. Then comes the birth of their dead-eyed daughter Wednesday and their pyrotechnically prone son Pugsley. Loyal servants Lurch and Thing are there, too. And since Pugsley’s impending “Sabre Mazurka” – a sort of bar mitzvah-esque coming-of-age ceremony involving a sword dance – is set to bring the entire extended Addams family into town, Gomez’s brother Fester (Nick Kroll) and his mother Grandmama (Bette Midler) show up early to help with the preparations.

The impending influx of Addamses dovetails with the second half of the plot, which involves a cookie-cutter subdivision that pops up just a stone’s throw away from the Addams’ mansion. The town of “Assimilation” (no points for subtly) is the brainchild of manically perky HGTV designer Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), who plans to sell all 50 of its houses during a live TV special. She’s worried that the dilapidated Addams manor is an eyesore that could scare away potential buyers. Gomez and Morticia, meanwhile, are nervous about venturing back into an outside world that has (literally) burned them before.

A big reason The Addams Family winds up feeling like a Saturday morning cartoon is because of the flat, weightless look of its animation. The vocal performances are similarly lifeless. Few members of the impressively star-studded cast make any kind of impression. Isaac, Theron, and Moretz are clearly trying their best, but they can’t do much with a painfully unfunny script that relies heavily on cheap reference humour.

Like Uncle Fester’s misguided and malodorous attempts at charm, The Addams Family ain’t quite what it could have been.

– Compilation