Arts & Entertainment

The Addams Family

(L to R) Oscar Isaac as the voice of Gomez Addams, Chloë Grace Moretz as the voice of Wednesday Addams, Nick Kroll as the voice of Uncle Fester, Charlize Theron as the voice of Morticia Addams, Finn Wolfhard as the voice of Pugsley Addams, Conrad Vernon as the voice of Lurch, and Bette Midler as the voice of Grandma in THE ADDAMS FAMILY, directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2019 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

References to other (more original) movies, gross-out humour (phlegm and candles make a good match), bombs (whyyyy?), and a moral message about as subtle as a town called Assimilation (not kidding). The Addams Family is an amusing little waste of time sure to please a few and none very much.

At their wedding, Morticia and Gomez are forced to flee and end up in what is, in their reckoning, the most dreadful place, New Jersey, atop a mountainous crag, befouled by a stenchful marsh gas. It is a perfect place to start their own family, as everything is horrible. 

The narrative resumes 13 years later, with daughter Wednesday showing signs of rebellion and son Pugsley a budding explosives maniac. Their idyll is interrupted when a home-renovation show and its host build a new town where everyone is happily the same. 

The Addams Family has some fun touches for adults, such as Thing embarrassedly hiding his mooning over internet images of bare feet, and evoking the theme music from the original show, which almost inspires finger-snapping. But the wackiness all but disappears into lessons about inclusivity that, though well-meaning, are repetitive to the point of meaninglessness. Be nice to people who are different, we’re not all that different. If the movie-makers really wanted to entertain the littlies, they should have a look at some of the pre-show advertising, which created more response from them than anything in the movie, like watching someone stick a Twistie up their nose. Eewww! That works.

★★ ½

Click here for all the latest CityHub movie coverage.

Reviewed by Olga Azar