Based on the classic pop culture family, The Addams Family 2 is a follow-up to 2019’s animated The Addams Family, which told a story about accepting others no matter their differences. For the sequel, The Addams Family 2 turns its focus inward on the familial unit, attempting to tell an equally heartfelt story about self-discovery and finding a place within your family as you grow up. However, the sequel is far too unfocused and much of the film’s message gets muddled by various jokes or non sequiturs. The Addams Family 2 is a shallow continuation that spends too much time on unconnected hijinks, resulting in an uneven sequel with much less heart.
The Addams Family 2 finds the titular family going through a bit of a rough patch as Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) is feeling out of place among the other Addams family members. But when she asks for space, Gomez (Oscar Isaac) decides what the family really needs is a bonding road trip across the U.S. Together with Morticia (Charlize Theron), Pugsley (Javon “Wanna” Walton), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) and their butler Lurch (Conrad Vernon), the family sets out to visit some of the country’s greatest landmarks. However, they’re being hounded by the lawyer Mr. Mustela (Wallace Shawn), who works for a client that thinks Wednesday may have been switched with another baby at birth and isn’t truly an Addams at all. As a result, the Addams family is in danger of being pulled apart.
Though The Addams Family 2 is set up to be another heartfelt and comedic movie, the script is constantly getting distracted by funny-seeming ideas – though none of these jokes land particularly well (including one that sees Pugsley blow up the entire Grand Canyon). The story also gets completely sidelined for a whole musical number performed by Lurch, which is perhaps less egregious than a separate musical sequence in which Snoop Dogg (as-Cousin It) performs one of his own songs. These bits are loosely strung together by the plot of the road trip, but the animated sequel still winds up feeling like a series of disconnected ideas shoved together into a 90-minute movie.
To make matters worse — with the exception of Bill Hader as Cyrus Strange, Shawn as Mr. Mustela and Kroll as Uncle Fester — The Addams Family 2 cast turns in rather lackluster performances. Hader and Kroll seem to be having enough fun with their roles that they’re at least somewhat memorable, while Shawn is playing a character so much like his role in The Princess Bride that it’s difficult not to compare the two, though he’s somewhat less theatrical as Mr. Mustela. The rest of the actors are simply fine. They’re serviceable in their roles, but do little to help elevate the characters or develop their personalities. This means the main characters at the heart of The Addams Family 2 are the blandest of the bunch.
Ultimately, The Addams Family 2 isn’t necessarily worth a watch, unless it’s being used to keep some kids occupied, though even they may not be fully entertained by the animated feature. Certainly, their parents may find little to enjoy in the film, despite some jokes being clearly aimed at an older crowd. Even with its shorter 90-minute runtime, The Addams Family 2’s disjointedness, aggressively unfunny jokes and lack of heart make the movie feel like a slog. Perhaps it may find its fans in those who enjoyed 2019’s The Addams Family, but even those that liked the first 3D animated film may struggle to connect or become engrossed in the shallow, overly obvious comedy of The Addams Family 2. As such, anyone who isn’t particularly interested in this animated reinvention of the beloved pop culture family would be fine in skipping The Addams Family 2 completely.