September 25, 2020
The Addams Family
By Don Morton
In 1964, David Levy created a TV sitcom based on Charles Addams’s hugely popular, delightfully macabre comic strip. It starred John Astin and Carolyn Jones, and was pretty funny for two seasons. In 1991, Barry Sonnenfeld came out with a feature-length movie version, starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia. Even funnier, spawned an also-funny sequel, Addams Family Values, and notably boosted the career of young Christina Ricci.
Through the years there have been numerous spinoffs, remakes, TV animations and sequels., so you’d think the material would be played out by now. Sadly, you’d be right.
This new, slightly-too-cute animation, voiced by Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Chloe Grace Moritz, is cleverly drawn and touches all the bases, but it’s a more than a little bland and poorly structured. And fatally, it feels the need, as Hollywood frequently must, to “update” the material for new generations, even going so far as to retrofit it into a new origin story.
Best thing I can say about this one is that it will whet your appetite for reviewing some of the previous, better incarnations. (86 min)