By: Andrew Haas
The first Hotel Transylvania from 2012 is a film people either find funny or annoying. I find myself more in the middle. So I didn’t know what to expect from the sequel. Much like the first film, my thoughts are rather mixed.
Taking place after the events of the first film, Dracula, voiced again by Adam Sandler, now has a half human, half vampire grandson. He and his friends try to bring the monster out of the kid in order to keep his daughter Mavis, voiced by Selena Gomez, from leaving the hotel.
This film is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who is best known for his acclaimed work on Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. His talent definitely shines through in the animation. The characters move with so much energy and fluidity, and there are some great visual gags to go with it. The celebrity voice actors do a great job as well. Sandler has had a bad year with movies, so it’s nice to see him give a likeable performance as the main vampire.
While I do like the idea of this film, the execution feels like an extended episode of a kid’s show. Everything about the story is predictable. Most of the film is just Dracula trying and failing to teach the kid what being a monster is like without the mother knowing. I’m pretty sure most audiences can figure it out from there. Granted, there are plenty of jokes that I thought were cute and had me chuckling, but rarely did I find myself laughing out loud. The rest of the humor either falls flat or makes awkward references to modern day trends.
In the third act, the film suddenly brings in Dracula’s father Vlad, voiced by Mel Brooks. This is where the story starts to feel hastily put together. It adds a last minute conflict that’s just there to make the main resolution seem bigger than it already was and put the monsters into a superhero-esque fight scene, all of which is unneeded.
While I enjoyed the first Hotel Transylvania to an extent, the second installment doesn’t have as much to offer. It has a good set-up and decent laughs, but it suffers from thin storytelling. Kids will definitely enjoy the film, but for adults it will depend. I say it’s worth either a matinee or a rental.
Hotel Transylvania 2 is well-animated, but doesn’t have as many laughs as the first.
- Fun animation
- Some clever gags
- Voice actors do a good job
- Completely predictable
- Shoehorned conflict in third act
- Some forces modern references