Adventure Animation

Review: ‘The Addams Family 2’ Kicks Off Spooky Season with a Road Trip Comedy for the Whole Family

October 1, 2021Ben MK

The Addams Family has seen their fair share of evolutionary iterations over the years, from their humble beginnings as a comic strip in 1938 to their leap to the big screen in the 1990s, not to mention the 1960s TV series that gave the world the iconic, finger-snapping theme song that has become synonymous with the family's kooky antics. With the Adamses having made their CG-animated debut in 2019's The Addams Family, however, it was only a matter of time before they returned for a sequel.

Enter The Addams Family 2, directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon's fairly formulaic followup that sees Gomez and Morticia Addams (Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron) packing up their two kids, Wednesday and Pugsley (Chloë Grace Moretz and Javon Walton), Gomez's brother Fester (Nick Kroll) and their faithful servant Lurch (Vernon), as they embark on a three-week, cross-country road trip intended to help the emotionally distant Wednesday feel more connected to her family. It doesn't take long for this well-intentioned bonding adventure to devolve into a series of hilarious misadventures, however. And when you throw in Gomez's party-loving cousin It (Snoop Dogg) and an enterprising mad scientist named Cyrus Strange (Bill Hader), who claims to be Wednesday's biological father, you can bet this will be one family vacation that won't soon be forgotten.

That more or less sums up screenwriters Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Ben Queen and Susanna Fogel's storyline for the movie, which sees the kooky clan visiting such picturesque locales as Niagara Falls, Miami and the Grand Canyon, where they leave their mark time and time again as only they can. Whether it's going over the Falls in barrels to escape Cyrus' lawyer (Wallace Shawn), scaring beachgoers out of the water by pretending to be a shark, or blowing up one of the seven natural wonders of the world, nothing is off-limits when it comes to the trail of chaos Gomez and company leave behind them at each pit stop along their way.

Of course, while the result does primarily revolve around Wednesday and her unexpected identity crisis, the other characters do occasionally get their moments to shine as well. From Pugsley's seemingly impossible quest to get a girl to agree to go on a date with him to a running gag that involves Fester's gradual transformation into an octopus-like creature, there's hardly ever a dull moment. At its core, though, the film is a lesson about the true meaning of family and learning to be comfortable in one's own skin. And in that regard, it's easy to view the unique situations that befall each family member as just variations on the same theme.

It all adds up to a relatively enjoyable time for adult moviegoers and kids alike. And while The Addams Family 2 in no way lives up to the heights of its live-action predecessors, it at least deserves credit for staying true to its origins. After all, spooky season wouldn't be the same without family, and what better way to celebrate the most macabre time of the year than with the creepiest, ookiest and most macabre family on the block.

The Addams Family releases October 1st, 2021 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG for macabre and rude humor, violence and language. Its runtime is 1 hr. 33 min.

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