Saturday, November 2, 2019

Movie Review: "The Addams Family" (2019)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and BRON Studios present the movie poster for the 2019 animated film The Addams Family, starring Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Allison Janney, and Elsie Fisher
Image Source
Movie"The Addams Family"
Director: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon
Year: 2019
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Morticia and Gomez Addams are chased out of the old country and take residence in a hilltop asylum in which they make their home and raise their family. When a new town called Assimilation is built nearby, the members of the Addams family once again become the target of persecution because they are different.

"The Addams Family" (2019) movie scene where Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) shows Morticia (Charlize Theron) a red balloon
"Why can't you ever let anyone be different?" (Image Source)
"The Addams Family" has had many incarnations throughout the decades. It was created as a comic strip by Charles Addams in 1938 as the antithesis to the typical American family. It was later adapted into a TV series in 1964, an animated series in 1973, and eventually into two films in the 1990s, which are probably the most well-known incarnations of the material for the millennial generation. Now, from "Sausage Party" directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan comes an all-new animated "The Addams Family" feature film. When Morticia (Charlize Theron), Gomez (Oscar Isaac), and the rest of the Addams clan are chased from their home by an angry mob, they must find a new place to live and raise their family. They find refuge in a secluded, haunted, and abandoned mental asylum in New Jersey away from the outside world out of fear that they will be attacked once again. Meanwhile, a home makeover television personality named Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) has just finished building Assimilation, a town close to the Addams's mansion where its residents will be the same perfect, cookie-cutter representation of the American nuclear family. Margaux believes that to sell the new homes in her town, the different, strange, bizarre Addams family must go.
The Addams Family animated movie scene featuring Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) looking through a spyglass
"This day is becoming most wonderfully disruptive." (Image Source)
The message of "being accepting of others and their differences" has been a prominent running theme in animated features and family films in recent times. "UglyDolls" and "The Angry Birds Movie 2" are two examples from just this year. "The Addams Family" once again tries to tackle this subject matter, but fails to bring anything new to the table. The narrative is weak and pretty dull, and it's more interested in delivering its message than it is in creating something compelling or engaging. One of the defining features of the Addams Family has always been that they are oblivious to their differences and the idiosyncrasies of others. In this incarnation of the material, they seem all too aware that they are outcasts being judged and bullied. They live isolated and in fear of the outside world. They worry about how "normal people" will react to them because they don't want to be chased away by a torch-carrying mob. At the same time, they act unaware that they are viewed as unusual or peculiar. The story wants it both ways, and it just doesn't work. Most of the jokes and visual gags involve Looney-Tunes-esque slapstick where people get shot or blown up with little consequence. There is an occasional witty pun or sharp quip that hits its intended mark, but these moments are fleeting. We're also sad to say, despite being fans of almost everybody in this cast, we didn't like most of the voiceover performances because they didn't fit their respective characters. The exceptions are Elsie Fisher (who plays newcomer Parker Needler), Allison Janney (who plays the sweet-on-the-outside, conniving-on-the-inside Margaux Needler), and Chloe Grace Moretz (who gives a commendable voiceover performance as Wednesday Addams). The best part about this film is the crisp animation and excellent 3D rendering. The classic Addams family look from the 1938 comics is combined with modern, exaggerated character designs found in Illumination Studios movies like "The Lorax" or "Despicable Me."
The Addams Family (2019) movie scene where Morticia and Gomez Addams meet Margaux Needler in their haunted asylum
"I should like to see what this plastic woman has to offer." (Image Source)
We left the theater really disappointed by "The Addams Family." We had hoped it would be another solid animated family feature to add to our annual Halloween rotation, but alas, that won't be happening.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
RT Rating: 43%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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