Thursday, March 05, 2020

The Addams Family: So Much to See and Laugh at and Enjoy

Movie Review: The Adams Family (2019)
Version: Library borrow

Just took a trip on the wildly fun side with The Adams Family, the latest iteration of the decades-old but never tiring story of Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, and the rest of the zanily macabre Addams family. This version is presented in 3D animation, featuring characters reminiscent of the original comic strip characters.

Here's the movie's take: The Addams family has soured on their dreary old "neighborhood" and so moves into an rundown sanitarium atop a hill outside a fashionable new neighborhood under development. That same fashionable new neighborhood is being developed by super remodeling control freak and TV host Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), who needs to sell out the project for the TV special coming up, and the only thing standing in her way -- and in the way of her making millions of dollars and avoiding immediate bankruptcy -- are the creepy new neighbors. This sets up a conflict of interest and battle of wits between totally upbeat Margaux and totally downbeat Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez (Oscar Isaac). Throw in a developing friendship between Margaux's daughter and Wednesday Addams (Chloƫ Grace Moretz), and the timing of the live TV special lining up perfectly with Pugsley's (Finn Wolfhard) family coming of age party, and you have a recipe for chaos, mayhem, and a lot of laughs.

All your favorite Addams Family side characters are there, too, including Lurch (Conrad Vernon), Thing (he doesn't speak but he sure can dance), and Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll). And for the family coming of age party, a ton of new family members. The film is rich in puns and visual references and other jokes that keep you focused on the fun.

The Addams Family is great family entertainment in a punny, rib-tickling, yet macabre (while never-take-yourself-too-seriously) kind of way. If you think it may be a lot like the old TV series from the past, I'd rethink it. The filmmakers have freshened it up, it part by going back to its artish roots while modernizing its take on culture and society. There is so much to see and laugh at and, well, enjoy.

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