The family suffers in the sequel.
Addams Family Values marks the return of our delightful oddballs. Unfortunately, many of the elements that made the first film great are absent here. The film follows Fester as he is wooed by a con artist, and then the family must save him somehow. Once again, the premise is a bit thin, but the characters are why we watch these films.
And, therein lies the problem with this film: the characters a great, but separated. The funnies parts of the movie are during the first thirty minutes, before everyone gets split up. Pugsley and Wednesday are sent to summer camp, Fester is off with his new wife, and the rest of the clan tries to determine what to do. Sure, there are a ton of funny lines, but without the entire clan together to keep the jokes building, they can never reach the same level as the first entry. Further complicating this is that the movie has two completely separated narratives running (summer camp and con artist), meaning that valuable time is spent on exposition. The slim runtime does not allow for two stories to work well with each other.
Additionally, the weirdness of the Addams has been diminished to a more slapstick routine in this film. Some elements are great, but there are several moments were a certain gag overstays its welcome (all I will say is allergies to avoid spoilers).
As far as sequels go, this one works okay. It does hit some of the same notes, but never reaches the level of the first. The fact that this sequel didn’t ruin the entire series marks it above most others. A fun, if largely forgettable film. 7/10