Once again we’ve been found wanting when we thought that denim clad rocker Bryan, ex- Spice girl pop poppet Victoria, and Sinn Fein president Gerry were all related and expected The Addams Family to be a biographical film. Instead we have another reboot of a film franchise based on the Charles Addams newspaper comic strip from the 1930’s which became a hugely successful TV series in the mid sixties. Having been resurrected best in the brilliantly cast live action films in the early Nineties the Addams Family now gets an animated reboot with the usual array of famous faces providing their not wholly recognizable voices to the film.
This time Morticia and Gomez (Charlize Theron & Oscar Isaac) having married just as the locals turf them out of the town relocate to a place where the freakish ghouls will not feel out of place…..they move to New Jersey. It’s one of the many decent jokes that Matt Lieberman and Pamela Petter (her first screenplay in 10 years) throw into the script. On the way they encounter what will become their butler Lurch who will assist in running their home as the film fast forwards to the parents raising their children Wednesday and Pugsley aided by a dismembered hand.
The Addams Family script was a surprisingly morbid and at times very dark humoured cartoon strip with the ghoulish family inverting anything bad as being good so their delapidated mansion which constantly threatens them to ‘Get Out!’ in a knowing nod to The Amityville Horror. However their house is on a hill overlooking a new estate that is part of a massive TV makeover show headed up by the big bouffant, thick thighed interior decorator Margaux who has made over the town in a uniformly bland style so much so that the town’s name is Assimilation. It’s a not so subtle hint that the plot here is going to be something of a message movie. Wednesday befriends Parker and helps her defeat a bullying pretty girl in the school and the new BFF’s feed off each other’s style so whilst Parker becomes an emo girl, Wednesday to her mother’s horror becomes pretty in pink. Added to this is Pugsley’s upcoming family ceremony that will see him becoming a man in the clan of ghouls. Think of a bar-mitzvah except here he has to master sabre fighting something which he is far from good at preferring instead to be a master of disaster with grenades and explosives devices.
So the Addams Family in its latest incarnation is very much aimed at kids and this is a movie with a message, that of the acceptance of others which seems appropriate in the current political climate with an American president building walls and Bremainers seemingly unwilling to accept that the Brexiters won the vote to leave Europe. The film has some clever throwaway jokes as well as references to horror films that include Frankenstein and IT. As seems to be obligatory with animated films these days ever it features star actors with perhaps only Chloe Grace Moretz as the most recognisable although bizarrely Snoop Dogg plays cousin IT but his voice has gone through some procedure that makes his dialogue much like it was in the TV series, unintelligible and really it’s only a brief burst of one of his songs that has him in the film.
Never outstaying its welcome yet as dynamic as several of the sequences are it would have been interesting to see this as a live action film but for Halloween though this is ideal for kids .
Here’s the Addams Family trailer…….