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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania 2 – Not Too Spooky Fun For the Kids and You

First appeared on Blogcritics.

trans2 At 89 minutes, Hotel Transylvania 2 is a fast, fun, and smooth sequel to the original Hotel Transylvania; in fact, we are not talking Godfather II here, but it seems to be a tad better than the first film. 

The loveable monster gang is all back – Dracula (Adam Sandler), Frankenstein (Kevin James), werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Invisible Man (David Spade), and the rest of the ghouls and girls. This will surely delight all those ten years old and under, as my son and the other kids in the theater screamed and cheered at the appearance of each one and the crazy antics connected to the characters (Frankenstein devours plates loaded with food for example).

The film begins with preparations for the wedding of Drac’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), who is marrying geeky human Jonathan (Andy Samberg). Jonathan has invited his family to come from California, and the interaction of humans and monsters is awkward but amusing.

trans1This is not the major conflict; however, it could have been if director Genndy Tartakovsky (who directed the original film) had been willing to take it there, but this is Sony Pictures Animation and the safe path is taken here. Instead, we move a year forward after the wedding and see Dracula delighted to learn that Mavis is pregnant, but then after the child is born he is worried that little Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) will not grow up to be a vampire. If he shows no tendencies before he turns five, Dennis will be fated to grow up human.

A sub-plot involves Mavis and Jonathan taking a trip to California, where Mavis is delighted by Slurpee machines and kids riding skateboards. She worries that back home in Transylvania there is not enough “normal” stuff going on, but a visit to Jonathan’s house shows his parents are weird as well but in different ways.

Back at the hotel Dracula and his crew take Dennis on a jaunt to all their old stomping grounds, hoping to shock the vampire out of the kid before his 5th birthday. Will various near disasters provoke the fangs to pop out in Dennis’s mouth before it is too late?

There is nothing here to concern parents, even with the PG rating (merely because of the scary images of the monsters which delight the kids considerably). It is actually an easier viewing than the first film, which my kids loved but I found slower moving. This sequel is definitely faster-paced and the 89 minutes went rather quickly.

trans3One nice little treat is a cameo by Mel Brooks as Vlad, Dracula’s father, who is not as lenient as he is in regards to humans. Drac’s biggest fear is what his father will do if he ever finds out that Mavis married Jonathan. When Brooks’s Vlad does come into the story, it truly enhances the proceedings.

Over all there is no reason not to take the kids to see this one. It is funny to hear the little in jokes that Sandler, Spade, James, and company make as they banter away; and, while the kids won’t pick up on this, it doesn’t matter. They will be having a not too spooky good time anyway and just in time for the Halloween season.


Photo credits: imdb.com, ew.com, youtube.com 

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