Review: The Addams Family on an adventure – The Addams Family 2 (2021)

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The Addams Family on an adventure – The Addams Family 2 (2021)

Directed by: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon, Laura Brousseau, Kevin Pavlovic | 93 minutes | animation, comedy, adventure | Dutch voice cast: Paul Groot, Monic Hendrickx, Vajèn van den Bosch, Cees Geel, Roman Derwig, Carel Struycken, Jacob Derwig, Arjan Ederveen, Stefania | Original voice cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Conrad Vernon, Bill Hader, Wallace Shawn, Brian Sommer, Griffin Burns, Courtenay Taylor

Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan breathed new life into ‘The Addams Family’ in 2019, the literally and figuratively witty comic strip about the rather idiosyncratic, macabre family that artist Charles Addams created in the 1930s. Both gentlemen have the necessary experience with animation films; Vernon has directed ‘Shrek 2’ (2004), ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ (2009) and ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ (2012) and Tiernan has a whole series of ‘Thomas the train’ episodes to his credit. Together they directed the much-discussed R-rated animated film ‘Sausage Party’ for Sony Pictures in 2016. Apparently that collaboration tasted like more. The first ‘Addams Family’ film showed how Gomez and Morticia, after their wedding was brutally disrupted by xenophobia, ended up in a dark mansion on a hill in New Jersey (a place the creators say you don’t want to be found dead yet). be), and where their children Wednesday and Pugsley grow up. Did the Addams family have a quarrel with a slippery media personality who won’t tolerate them in their ‘perfect’ town in that first film, in ‘The Addams Family on an adventure’ (‘The Addams Family 2′) (2021) the headstrong Wednesday in search of herself, while the rest of the family rocks America on a road trip.

As the film begins, we see Wednesday (fortunately again voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz in a delightfully sarcastic way) participating in a science competition at her school. In the meantime, she is embarrassingly loudly encouraged by her parents (Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron) – exactly what you as a teenager don’t want – and the loose cannon that her brother Pugsley (Finn Wolfard) got into his throat and was replaced by Javon Walton. ). To her horror, Wednesday wins the competition (as do just about all the other kids who entered, by the way). At the end of the awards ceremony, she meets the man — or at least in hologram form — who made the event possible, a scientist named Cyrus Strange (Bill Hader). The two instantly clicked thanks to their shared passion for invention and the fact that they are better and smarter than others. Once home, it appears that Gomez and Morticia have decided it is time for the family to take a road trip to Death Valley (obviously). The children grow up so quickly, they no longer eat together at the table and are barely visible. So it’s high time for a family holiday and full attention for each other!

But Wednesday, in particular, whose disdain for her parents grows by the day, doesn’t feel like the trip and begins to wonder aloud if she is who she is. Then when a mysterious lawyer shows up who claims that Wednesday is not the biological daughter of Gomez and Morticia and demands a DNA test, doubts set in. At first they think that their daughter is playing a joke on them herself – after all she is that maniac, especially when she desperately wants to get out of a family activity – but the reality turns out to be a lot more shady. Pugsley has now discovered the girls and asks Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) for advice. But whether he is the right person to learn tricks from…?

Our most beloved monster family on a road trip along various highlights in the US; you would think that the makers would take that opportunity with both hands to mercilessly ridicule the American Way of Life. Unfortunately… During the visits to the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and the beaches of Miami, the Addams are mainly busy with themselves. While the contrast between the apparently completely insane Addams family and all those perfect suburban families could have made for some nice finds. Although it must be said that in both the first film and this sequel, the Addams family is less and less creepy and weird than originally intended by Charles Addams. They have been made more ‘child-friendly’, as it were, and more normal, so that little of the macabre charm of the couple remains. A completely new team of writers was brought in for this sequel, who focus in their rock-solid script on Wednesday’s search for her identity and thereby try to give a deeper layer to the whole. Unfortunately, they don’t succeed, because ‘The Addams Family on an adventure’ can’t shake the superficiality. Where the first film still had a number of nice (visual) finds, the joke density here is on the meager side. The makers are lucky that almost the entire voice cast is present again, because they still somewhat keep the film upright.

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