Movie Review: The Addams Family (2019)

With Central Drama’s production of The Addams Family having just come and gone, I decided to go see the new animated film, you know, for nostalgia’s sake… and that was a massive mistake on my part. Ugly, uninteresting and generally sloppy, The Addams Family (2019) sanitizes its iconic source material to the point where even the most ardent of Addams Family fans would find this film borderline unwatchable. 

The “plot” of The Addams Family roughly goes like this: After being chased by angry mobs for most of their lives, Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) finally decide to settle down and have a family. 13 years later, the two are now the proud parents of a daughter named Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) and a son named Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard). With Pugsley’s coming of age celebration just around the corner, the family is scrambling to prepare, that is until Margeaux Needler (Allison Janney)  arrives. As a famous home decorator, Needler has seemingly just completed her grandest endeavor yet, the renovation of an entire New Jersey town. However, with the Addams household being as dark and foreboding as it is, Needler comes to realize that her work is not yet done, and she is willing to do just about anything to finish this picture-perfect town. 

Amazingly, at a runtime of only 86 minutes, the film manages to feel bloated. Only about a third of the film had anything to do with the main story with the rest of the time being spent on goofy little vignettes which were neither entertaining nor added to any of the characters’ arcs (which were also more or less nonexistent).

Out of all the things I could pick apart about the film, the one thing that has irked me to no end is the utter waste of talent on display here. With a star-studded cast, one could expect to find enjoyment in hearing one of their favorite actors, however, even that is squandered by the fact that the performances range from serviceable to abysmal. The core family….is fine. I didn’t have any issues with them, though, I would argue Finn Wolfhard sounds far too old to be playing someone who’s presumably about ten years old. The two I found hardest to listen to were Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester and Allison Janney as Margeaux Needler. Both of them attempt to ham up their performances to add a little variety to the vocal cast, however, I just found them both to be grating. All of this is only exacerbated by the cheap-looking animation, which could have been solved if the rights of the franchise were placed into the hands of a more established animation studio. On top of it all, the barren landscapes and plastic-y character models culminate in a film that is hard to listen to and boring to look at.                                            

And yes, for those of you who are wondering, I am completely aware that this is a kid’s film. However, I firmly believe that no child would be able to sit through this film without getting antsy. Wildly disappointing, The Addams Family (2019) had so many places where it could go to make this a memorable watch, however, it manages to fail at almost every technical aspect of filmmaking. I give The Addams Family (2019) a one out of five stars

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