The Addams Family film review: not so spooky or kooky

The Addams Family take a trip to the town of Assimilation.
The Addams Family take a trip to the town of Assimilation.

NOT so spooky or kooky, this animated revival of The Addams Family is the last thing you would expect from this quirkiest of American families – bland.

In an unnecessary back story sequence, Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez (Oscar Isaac) are tying the knot in front of their extended family, before an angry mob of villagers chases them away.

After running over Frankenstein’s monster Lurch, their soon-to-be faithful butler, they see an abandoned asylum on a hill, the perfect place to call home.

Flash forward 13 years and the couple’s children are growing up: Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) is curious about the world beyond the mist that surrounds their property and resentful that Morticia will not let her leave.

Puglsey (Finn Wolfhard) is preparing to perform the mazurka, a complicated sword fighting routine, to the entire family as a rite of passage to becoming a man when he would rather be playing with explosives.

Then one day the mist dissipates to reveal the swamp has been cleared, taken over by a brand new town called Assimilation (yes it really is called that) built by no other than reality TV host Margaux Needler (Allison Janney).

From there things become as unsubtle as an arrow to the head from Wednesday’s crossbow with everyone involved having to learn to embrace their differences and accept others for who they really are.

In various incarnations since their first appearance as cartoons in The New Yorker from the 1930s, The Addams Family have always been used to hold up a mirror to American society, pointing out that despite their propensities to the violent and ghoulish, the family’s undying love and support for one another is in direct contrast to the way so called normal families often behave.

In this version, the Addams become that fractious normal American family making the entire point of them, and this film, redundant.

THE ESSENTIALS

The Addams Family (PG)

Directors: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

Starring: Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz

Two and a half stars

In cinemas now

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