Film critic Gary DeWaard shares insightful reviews of trending movies to inform his online readers of what’s worth seeing during theatrical runs. Below, he shares his thoughts on the latest rendition of Charles Addams’ beloved dark comedy The Addams Family.
Gary DeWaard is often invited to screen movies early on and share his thoughts with readers to help them determine which films to see while in theaters. Recently, he screened the family cartoon film The Addams Family and reported on the latest installment to the decades-old franchise.
“In short, it’s a film that is certainly worth taking the whole family to see, and it provides a nice change from the bright and overly-optimistic tones of family films today,” says Gary DeWaard. “However, it may not meet all the expectations for die-hard Addams Family fans if only because the characters don’t really perform outside of the box that was created in the 30s and 40s.”
The animation project was headed by MGM and is directed by the same pair behind the raunchy computer animated film Sausage Party from 2016. But Gary DeWaard says that shouldn’t scare off any parents; the Addams Family is quirky and filled with dark comedy, but it is first and foremost a family film. The star-studded cast includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood today: Oscar Isaac as Gomez Addams; Charlize Theron as Morticia; Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday; Bette Midler as Grandma; Snoop Dogg as Cousin It; Catherine O’Hara as Grandma Frump, and other top actors like Finn Wolfhard, Allison Janney, and Martin Short.
In the film, the immediate Addams Family members are busy preparing for Pugsley’s 13th birthday party, which is a landmark occasion in the family and is celebrated with a reunion at the famous mansion. Meanwhile, the family is running into trouble with locals from the nearby town, headed by TV personality Margaux Needler who is hoping to remodel their family mansion so she can sell more houses in the neighborhood.
“It retains a lot of the iconic creepiness and characterizations of the old stories, but overall the film fails to give any of the individuals in the story anything really new to run with,” says Gary DeWaard. “The result kind of feels like an homage to the original comics and stories––with extreme CGI likenesses of the initial character designs––that is lacking a bit of new development. To me, all the characters feel like odes to their older selves instead of refreshing and fitting for the times.”
While Gary DeWaard doesn’t feel the film lived up to his own personal expectations, he does recommend giving it a try with your family in theaters this Halloween season. The Addams Family hit theaters on October 11th and has a runtime at just under an hour and a half.