Review: Quirky 'The Addams Family 2' offers harmless macabre hijinks
Courtesy of MGM
The quirky, kiddo friendly animated sequel “The Addams Family 2” offers more of the same harmless macabre humor that came before. In this case, that’s not a bad thing as the Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon directed outing feels imbedded with the iconic Charles Addams cartoon and manages to create something occasionally humorous with minimal resources. A PIXAR animated feature this is not, 2019’s “The Addams Family” was a surprise hit and, at least for this critic who shares a last name with the spooky family, found moderate enjoyment with the stellar voice ensemble and one liners.
Lucky for us, most of the cast make their returns in “The Addams Family 2;” Oscar Isaac as the patriarch, Gomez; Charlize Theron brings necessary snark to Morticia, Chole Grace Moretz’s gets the narrative spotlight voicing Wednesday; Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton is the newcomer of the bunch, replacing Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley; Bette Midler channels her inner Sanderson sister providing the pipes for Grandma; and Nick Kroll’s Uncle Fester remains a highlight.
Four screenwriters are credited on “The Addams Family 2,” which sees the ghoulish brigade, at the behest of Gomez, hop in their oversized RV and haul across the country to rekindle lost family chemistry. There’s also a question of Wednesday’s linage (she’s always felt misplaced) and whether she’s Gomez and Morticia’s child, a seed of doubt planted by world renowned genetic scientist, Cyrus Stranger (Bill Hader) who believes the resourceful and bleak little tyke is his offspring. This doesn’t catapult “The Addams Family 2” into the stratosphere of top-tier animated films, but for a direct-to-DVD style animated adventure, you could do worse.
If the “switched at birth” storyline doesn’t move the needle, they're fun running gags regarding a botched science experiment that blends Uncle Fester’s DNA with an octopus, and Grandma’s get rich quick schemes as she housesits during the family’s cross-country odyssey to offer chuckles. In between, Tiernan and Vernon wisely expand upon the lore of “The Addams Family” throughout the sequel, especially during Wednesday’s identity crisis, showing a rare peek behind the morbid child’s ethical compass. Considering the low-brow style of the “Hotel Transylvania” series, “The Addams Family” is a breezier alternative with enough spontaneous bursts of pint-sized hijinks to be more treat than trick.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 is now playing in theaters and available to rent on demand for $19.99.