Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, gives us his review of The Addams Family 2 and the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 (in theaters, Video OnDemand)
The Addams Family is back for more kooky mayhem, and this take they’re on a road trip in The Addams Family 2. The sequel focuses on teenage Wednesday Addams who is going through a moody phase after a frustrating science fair at school. Gomez sees this as the perfect time for a family road trip to reconnect as a family. They head out for a cross country trip in true Addams fashion, but hot on their trail is a lawyer who believes Wednesday isn’t really an Addams and was switched at birth at the hospital.
This new animated iteration was a big success for MGM when the first film came out in 2019. It played well for a younger audience so naturally a sequel was ordered into production.
The characters created by Charles Addams continue to intrigue audiences and remind us that being different should be celebrated. Wednesday is going through an identity crisis in this one and being different is the most Addamsy thing there is.
Placing them in the real world opens the color palette up making it more accessible to kids, but I thought more could have been done in the animation and writing to show that stark contrast between the Addams and the rest of society.
The writing team still knows who they are writing for as it does play for easy laughs with turning Uncle Fester into part octopus, there’s a biker gang scene with Lurch singing “I Will Survive” and other bits to make kids laugh. There are even a few Easter eggs in there for adults.
The Addams Family 2 has a strong voice cast behind these characters. Chloe Grace Moretz easily captures Wednesday’s moodiness and Oscar Isaac makes for a GREAT Gomez. He knows how to throw his voice around with enough playful romantic flourish. I would love to see him in a live action version. As Morticia, Charlize Theron felt a bit underutilized here compared to Oscar Isaac. I’d love to see more with the two of them together next time.
Some of the film felt like filler and there’s some obvious product placement, but kids will probably be entertained by The Addams Family 2. There’s enough in for them to enjoy.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
NO TIME TO DIE (in theaters)
One of the most exciting eras of the James Bond franchise has come to an end as Daniel Craig finishes his run as Agent 007 in No Time to Die. James had been hoping to live off the grid leading a quiet life with the love of his life, Madeline. That can only last so long after his location is compromised, and old pal Felix Leiter tracks him down with a new mission. There’s a massive explosion at an MI6 lab. Bond believes SPECTRE is behind this and agrees to take on the mission connecting the dots between Spectre, Blofeld, a man from Madeline’s past, and a highly secretive piece of technology.
The writing team of No Time to Die continue the overarching storyline of Daniel Craig’s Bond going back to the loss of Vesper Lynde from his first film, Casino Royale, and continues with new love Madeline and the mind games from Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld, which were introduced in the previous film, Spectre.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga kicks this off with an extensive opening sequence before the new Billie Eilish theme is introduced. We learn more about Madeline’s childhood and offers one of the biggest action sequences we’ve seen with Daniel Craig’s Bond.
When Bond reunites with M, Q, and Moneypenny, he learns MI6 has moved on without him hiring a new 00 agent played by Lashana Lynch. For me, she’s the standout of the new cast as her character Nomi can hold her own next to Bond both in attitude and action. I would love to see her character added to the next iteration of Bond movies.
Oscar winner Rami Malek bears the responsibility of taking on the coveted role of the Bond villain. For me, he’s almost trying too hard at making him this ruthless, power-hungry villain playing god with no heart or soul. He’s literally scarred and wearing a mask, but that’s the only thing that makes him standout from the countless other Bond villains over the years. Malek missed an opportunity to find a new shade or characteristic to make the last Daniel Craig Bond villain memorable.
I wish I could say that No Time to Die is the best of Daniel Craig’s five outings as 007 but that’s not that case. At 2 hours and 43 minutes, it starts to feel its length as the pacing feels a bit stagnant at times. The writing could be sharper to feel that sense of gravity at hand as the deep human connection in what this story represents for the character and for Daniel Craig isn’t always present when it should be. The stakes felt higher with Skyfall which remains the best of the Craig era.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS