October 5, 2015

Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania 2

It is hard to believe it has been three years since Hotel Transylvania graced the big screen. It was a movie I liked, but did not quite love. I think that may have been because I saw it in the midst of a really good run of animated fare. 2012 also brought us Frankenweenie and the incredible ParaNorman, so far as other horror themed films, plus there was the video game themed Wreck-It-Ralph. It is hard to stand out in that crowd and in another year Hotel Transylvania may have stood out more for me. Still, I did like it, the story may have been a tad generic, but the jokes and respect for the classic monsters is a definite winner. Now we have the sequel. How does it stack up?

Well let's say it does not seem to have the same level of animated competition around it. It also would have to be considered, along with the first one, the best project that Adam Sandler has been involved in in years. No, the story is not that inventive this time around either, but it is funny, holds your attention, and still has plenty of fun with the classic style monsters. Everyone gets in on the fun, from Dracula, to Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and even the Blob. As a matter of fact, the one I do not recall seeing is Gillman, or perhaps I just have a terrible memory.

The story picks up a little after the events of the first one, Dracula's daughter, Mavis, is still with the human Jonathan. They get married and have a son, this is all covered pretty quickly. The story picks up as the young boy is nearing his fifth birthday and his parents are thinking of leaving the hotel to raise their human child around humans. Of course, Dracula is none too pleased with this and sets out to try and get the boy to sprout some vampire fangs, which would then mean they could not leave.

The story goes in the expected way. Comedy ensues as they try to get the fangs to pop and keep Mavis occupied, distracted, and out of the way. We get the moral of accepting people for who they are and blah, blah blah. Oh yes, that gag returns and is used pretty well throughout. However, I feel the need to say that I did not watch this for the story. It is good enough, but certainly geared for the movie's target audience, which is not me. What you go for are the jokes. If you are familiar with the classic Universal monsters, or just like horror, you will likely enjoy the gags, verbal and visual, that are put on the screen. They come fast and furious.

Hotel Transylvania 2 is a winner. It may not be an instant classic, but it is one that I could see revisiting on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I feel like revisiting the first one again. The voice casting is first rate, I do love Steve Buscemi as the put upon Wolfman with the large litter of wolfpups. Toss in Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, David Spade, Kevin James, Keegan-Michael Key, and even Mel Brooks and you have a cast that is hard to beat (well, in this format at least).

Definitely give this one a spin. You don't even need the excuse of kids to go and enjoy this. You will be glad you did.


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