THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 Review; "Fun For The Entire Family, But Too Often Veers Down Familiar Routes"

The Addams Family 2 arrives in theaters and on Digital platforms today, but is this sequel to 2019's divisive animated take on the iconic characters a journey worth taking? It's a fun, forgettable ride...

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If 2019’s The Addams Family wasn’t what you wanted from this franchise, then chances are The Addams Family 2 isn’t going to change your mind. It is, however, a fun family film, and one that’s going to be available to watch both in theaters and at home starting today. Taking the family from their iconic mansion, this sequel follows them on a road trip across the U.S., and while that may be a departure from the norm, it’s a concept that works surprisingly well at times (who knew seeing Wednesday in a beauty pageant could be so hilariously weird?). Of course, this change in direction is unlikely to sit well with even the most casual of fans because once they hit the road, they’re pretty much just like any other weird family taking a vacation.

Despite that, there’s certainly fun to be had with The Addams Family 2, and it makes for mostly enjoyable viewing. By far the biggest benefit to putting Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Uncle Fester in an animated setting is just how easy it becomes to do some wonderfully strange things with them that previous live-action stories could not. Whether it’s a science fair that takes a sinister turn, a nutty trip to Niagara Falls, or a crazy final battle, this kid-friendly take on the franchise suits its target audience and arguably works better than it would have if it adopted the same sort of tone as something like The Corpse Bride, for example. It’s legitimately funny in places, and the sweet family dynamic is likely to resonate with audience members of all ages.

The cast remains the biggest draw, however, with Oscar Isaac still clearly having a lot of fun as Gomez. While it often feels like Charlize Theron is just going through the motions as Mortica, Isaac breathes a real sense of life into the patriarch of the Addams Family and his dynamic with Chloë Grace Moretz’s Wednesday proves to be a highlight. That character is this sequel’s lead in many respects, and Moretz is flawless in the role (the character is a tad unlikeable, but aren’t all teenagers at one time or another?). Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester is hard to fault, though we’d have appreciated a slightly more exciting choice of big bad than Bill Hader’s Cyrus Strange; there’s nothing wrong with the character or what the actor does here, but this is very much Bill Hader being Bill Hader, and that’s something we’ve already seen enough of in the other animated projects he’s lent his voice to.

The Addams Family 2 doesn’t deliver the dark and gloomy take on this iconic household we’re used to seeing, but the visuals here are still impressive, and there’s no denying that this should make for a fun diversion in a Fall that’s relatively light on family movies. It's easy to forget just how close what we're seeing is to Charles Addams' original artwork, and the sequel nails that side of things. Yes, it's colourful, cartoonish, and a little bit goofy, but that all works well within the context of the movie, and if you liked The Addams Family, expect to walk away happy with this sequel.

With a relatively compelling mystery at its core and the hilarity that ensues with these characters being put in the most unexpected of settings, there’s really nothing wrong with what directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon are setting out to do. It’s never boring and, as noted, is heartwarming enough to make this a trip you won't regret taking. However, it’s also not overly original, and it’s hard not to yearn for the sort of hijinks the Addams Family could be getting up to back at home. The little touches go a long way, though, whether it’s Thing’s "eye" or Fester attempting to share some seduction tips with Pugsley in one of the more enjoyable subplots. It’s just a shame none of them leave much of a lasting impact, and it's hard not to wonder whether this franchise is already running on fumes if the family had to head on vacation this soon.

The Addams Family 2 is fun for the entire family, but too often veers down familiar routes to make this road trip movie a journey you may not want to take more than once.

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