The Addams Family: Surf the Web and Find Another Movie
By: Noemi Elliott
“You don’t wanna mess with me cuz if you mess with me, you’re messin’ with my family.”
Advertised as a funny, spooky-ooky animation, The Addams Family is a poor attempt at light family entertainment, earning a mere one out of five stars. Filled with bad puns, a supposedly “moral” message, and an overly simple plot, nothing much happens in the movie. From start to finish, the only aspect that lingers in my head afterwards is the theme song… which is more irritating than enjoyable.
Attempting to make the audience laugh through the use of a poorly written joke-filled script, the major attraction of the movie fell flat. Instead of falling off my seat while laughing, I cringed at most of the poorly executed puns. For example, in one scene, some characters cross a large hole via a bridge composed of spiders, termed “surfing the web.” Not very funny, right? There’s also a random It reference when Wednesday comes in with a balloon and her mom, Morticia, responds “there’s usually a murderous clown attached to the other end of these,” suggesting that Pennywise will make a surprise appearance. Spoiler: he doesn’t.
Now, onto the plot itself. The story is straightforward, as the only events that occur are the arrival of the Addams Family and conflict with the neighbouring town, ending in some peculiar “war” that, to this moment, I still don’t quite understand. The townspeople throw large balls into the Addams family house and Pugsley then explodes them using hand grenades… I don’t really get it either. It’s as if the screenwriters ran out of ideas and decided to steal the angry villagers from Beauty and the Beast and throw them into an otherwise completely different story. Angry people invading the home of the “villainous” stranger? Check.
Besides the terrible script and storyline, my biggest issue with the movie is the attempt at fabricating moral undertones. Covering a wide range of topics, the messages are too complicated for the young audience the movie is directed toward. The two main examples are the ideas of “inclusivity,” depicted by the contrast between the Addams family and the neighbouring town, and “adapting,” the act of changing the Addams family’s traditional Mazurka. The former encompasses the conflict between the “normal” people living in the planned community “Assimilation” and the “strange” members of the Addams family. Obviously, the cliched ending of everyone accepting each other for their differences is both abrupt and predictable, so the attempt at creating philosophical undertones falls flat. The latter is another failed attempt, as the characters spend the whole movie pressuring Pugsley into performing the Mazurka with a sword (the traditional way), only to finally accept his talents with explosives and allow him to change the tradition. Again, this change is both expected and boring.
Whilst the movie is geared to a very young audience, and some of the jokes are targeted at the long-suffering adults accompanying them, this is a weak animated adaptation of a fondly remembered show from the 1960s. It would be best if the Addams family had been left in their black and white graves as fondly remembered entertainment from an earlier generation.