Wait until you can stream it…
On paper, this film should have worked. There is a star-studded cast, a decent score, and it is modernising a beloved franchise: giving it an animated makeover and updating its story for the 21st century. Sadly, it does not work.
The casting director has put together a star-studded cast. Oscar Isaac plays Gomez, Charlize Theron plays Morticia, Chloe Grace Mortez and Finn Wolfhard play the two children. Unfortunately, it is not realised to its full potential. If you did not google the cast beforehand or saw none of the advertising, you would not be able to tell that these high calibre actors are in the movie. They offer boring performances utterly devoid of life and energy, dressed up in generic European accents.
The animation style is equally dry. Whilst the creative decision to take inspiration from the original cartoons from the New Yorker, published between 1938 and 1988, is a good idea, for the characters look great, the successful creative decisions end there. The rest of the characters are unoriginal stereotypes of what normal people look like. They have no memorable personality traits in either their character or in their design. The animation style in general lacks personality. These are supernatural characters. This provides the perfect excuse to get creative. The directors could have crazy, random things happening in the background, or subtly play with the character designs throughout the film, or anything. Yet, the animation style is static, as if the tap of creativity stopped working once the basic designs for the Addams family were created. This may be an animated version of the Addams family, but they are not animated.
There are some good ideas for updating the Addams family for the 21st century. Margaux (Allison Janney) is a reality TV show host acting as the fact for a home renovation show, and wants to renovate the Addams family home. When she does not get her own way, she uses social media to spread lies and rumours, ultimately to rally a mob against the family. This is a good idea for bridging an eighty one year old source material with issues in the present day. However, the only slightly memorable aspect of this film is the score. The rest of it is dull, meaning you ultimately do not care very much about what the film has to say about social media culture.
With a cast of actors uncharacteristically not on form and a boring animation style, there is not much to get excited about here. The Addams Family will continue to be remembered as a TV show with iconic film adaptations following in the 1990s. This film will be a good chance to get a Pointless answer on the BBC quiz show, if anyone cares to remember it. These characters may be ghouls, but that is no excuse for such a lifeless movie.