Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
It's a rare thing for sequels to outdo the original. Hotel Transylvania 2 isn't better than the first. It's about the same: good for children and boring for the parents who go with them.
Adam Sandler plays Dracula. In this version of his story Dracula runs a hotel in Transylvania which is an okay tourist destination but more of a haven for other monsters, such as his best friends: Frank (Frankenstein's monster played by Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), and Blobby the Bob. Dracula's daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), and her new husband, Johnny (Andy Samberg), are raising their son, Dennis, at the hotel, surrounded by monsters at all times. Dennis is turning 5 soon, and Dracula believes that if Dennis doesn't sport the telltale fangs by his birthday then it means he isn't a vampire. And Dracula doesn't want a human for a grandson. So Hotel Transylvania 2 revolves around his desperate attempts to scare Dennis' fangs into existence.
For parents, Adam Sandler's acting is becoming tired and boring. His penchant for strange accents and gibberish is in full effect here, and it truly wears thin. The added affect of Kevin James, David Spade, and co, as nearly washed up comics, adds nothing to the fray. Their voice acting only goes so far, and the younger talent in Selena Gomez (who was the star of the original and has basically a bit part now), Andy Samberg, and Asher Blinkoff (who plays Dennis), cant save this movie. Their characters are sitting on the sidelines as comic relief and Hotel Transylvania 2 becomes, essentially, nothing more than a vehicle for Adam Sandler's new fondness for mediocrity.
The story is recycled hogwash. It's a mixture of a typical coming of age story and the story of a father's fear for his children, along with the lesson of having to accept your child for who they are. The jokes and humor, the emotion and lessons, the story arcs, the development... are all recycled and cliché. Nothing about this is original or new.
What's left to say except that the movie will be fun for children. It contains an easily followed story, lots of color, wonderfully animated characters, lots of near-gibberish, and fun quotes for the kids. The adult characters juggle their smart phones and GPS. The children are loud and full of energy. There's a small romance with Dennis. There's misunderstanding between Dracula and his daughter. There's singing and dancing and shouting and flying. There are obvious jokes and obvious humor. It even ends with a big song and dance... For the same reasons that children love Minions, they will love Hotel Transylvania 2. And for the same reasons that parents hate Minions, they will hate Hotel Transylvania 2.
Great animation and fun characters can't save a bad movie. And that's what this is. It's a bad movie dressed up with pretty animation and lovable monsters as the main characters. It almost feels like the cartoon version of MADtv: a series of sketch comics strung along a common theme and trying to be as good as the best version out there.
But with a bad screenplay, mediocre dialogue, mediocre music... I mean what, besides the animation, is not mediocre here? You shouldn't make a beautifully animated feature film just for the sake of making beautiful animation. And it's sad that Hollywood has sunk this far. It's just nice to know that Hollywood won't be remembered by this movie... it'll be out of our minds in 6 months or so.
TL;DR: Do you have kids? Take them. Do you not have kids? Don't go. Save yourself the cost of a ticket and buy some Chipotle or groceries. There's better animation, funnier comedy, and more well-written stories to see. This just doesn't fill the void between Disney/Pixar features.
- Acting – 12 / 20
- Story – 5 / 20
- Cinematography – 12 / 20
- Soundtrack – 2 / 10
- Entertainment Factor – 5 / 10
- Family/Fantasy/Comedy – 7 / 10
- Other – 0 / 10