The fabulous characters created by Charles Addams in the late thirties in a series of cartoons published in the magazine The New Yorker had the infinite luck of transcending the world thanks to The Addams family, mythical series of the then incipient television, broadcast between 1964 and 1966, which made its members, together with the contemporaries of The Monster family, conformed for generations the imaginary of the offspring of strangers in a social environment not only conventional but also eminently conservative. However, a rare thing despite the attempts in different formats, neither series has found that undisputed and imperishable film version.
The most famous, The Addams family , by Barry Sonnenfeld, contained abundant virtues both in the visualization of the director and in the making of his cast – Angelica Huston, Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd were perfect, and Christina Ricci seemed born to play Wednesday. , but the script ran out after half an hour in a kind of plot tedium that only escaped discretion in specific outbursts of comic reply. And the lively The Addams family (2019) was almost unanimously accused of discrediting the critical and hooligan spirit of its creator and , above all, of the original series, which despite its apparent whiteness was capable of removing the foundations of the perfect American dream.
However, two years later, here is its sequel, The Addams Family 2, directed again by Tiernan and Vernon, which circulates along a path similar to the first with a domesticated story, more for young children than for adolescents and adults to those that the television series was destined for, unfolded in a double aspect: a kind of National Lampoon’s Vacation, or the crazy vacations of a wacky American family, of absolute lightness in its passage through Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and other American tourist peaks; and a plot related to a possible change of babies that affects precisely Wednesday. The first, in the initial stretch of the story, is enduring; the second, which includes a climax developed in a mansion of a mad doctor where the excellence of the Addams are lost, going to the background, is almost infumable. Meanwhile, formally, the drawing hardly has anything special – if anything, the singular movement of Morticia’s gait – and the blackness inherent in the characters disappears in an attempt at continuous physical exaggeration, inherent in the cartoon American classic, which has not yet come to fruition.
In times of pandemic, children were the first to be incorporated with a certain naturalness to the new normality of theaters, and the films that have targeted them have been taking a good part of the top box office positions for months. The Addams 2 family, like (almost) all the previous ones, will find its place, but the Addams (and the Monsters) still have no one to describe them with grace and precision in the cinema.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2: THE GREAT ESCAPE
Direction: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon.
Genre: animated comedy. USA, 2021.
Duration: 93 minutes.