FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “Hotel Transylvania 2” is voiced by Adam Sandler (Big Daddy, Billy Madison), Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place [TV series], Ramona and Beezus), Andy Samberg (Hot Rod, Brooklyn Nine-Nine [TV series]), Kevin James (The King of Queens [TV series], Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Steve Buscemi (Fargo , Grown Ups), David Spade (Joe Dirt, Tommy Boy), Keegan Michael-Key (Key and Peele [TV series], Tomorrowland), Molly Shannon (How the Grinch Stole Christmas , Never Been Kissed), Fran Dresher (The Nanny [TV series], This Is Spinal Tap), Megan Mullaly (Will & Grace [TV series], Bee Movie), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation [TV series], The Kings of Summer), Dana Carvey (Wayne’s World, The Master of Disguise), Rob Riggle (The Other Guys, Dumb and Dumber To), and Mel Brooks (Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles). It is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack [TV series], Dexter’s Laboratory [TV series]) and is written by Robert Smigel (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Saturday Night Live [TV series]) and Adam Sandler. Dracula (Sandler) and his gang are back in this new adventure full of laughs. When Dracula’s daughter, Mavis (Gomez), and her now-husband Jonathan (Samberg) have a kid, Dracula plans to raise him to be a great vampire. But when the child doesn’t show signs of becoming the vicious monster, Dracula tries to push him along and help him grow his fangs.
Another sequel that we so desperately wanted! As you can tell by that sentence I’m using sarcasm, as I was never dying to see a sequel to “Hotel Transylvania.” The original film, which I haven’t reviewed, was good. I enjoyed the experience and it was funny, with some great animation to back it up. But, I didn’t feel the need to see its successor. So, being as it is Friday and I wanted to watch another animated movie with family, I gave into watching this one. What’s the harm in watching it anyway? That’s basically the underlying question of this flick, as there was nothing awful yet nothing extraordinary about it. Here we have Dracula and the gang back at the old grind again, running the hotel which seems to take in humans now. There are some new additions as well as jokes. I laughed in this movie quite a bit; it was really funny. They gave a blend of physical, gross-out, and plain literal comedy. A lot of it worked, even the literal comedy that I would usually groan at (“Airplane,” you know what I’m talking about). It gave a nice atmosphere and appeal that drew me in and entertained me for the night. Well, at least for the first half. I will delve into the second half towards the end of my review. Seeing Dracula and his buddies back was cool. I am one of those people who like Adam Sandler and his crew, and they are all great voice actors. They bring good comedic appeal in all of their voices. It was awesome to hear Mel Brooks in this especially as he is a funny man. The animation style is different and fresh, and it was beautifully designed. Something I did catch in this release though is how the first film gave a raw finish while this one was more clean-cut and sleek. I would have rather had the raw feel, but it’s still good either way. Discussing issues, most of them reside in the structure of this flick, namely the story. When watching this I couldn’t help but think to myself “what am I watching? What is this about?” Sure, the plot says that Dracula is trying to train his grandson to be a vampire. But that whole story arc doesn’t hold up this release. It actually takes thirty minutes for us to get to that point. When it comes up, jokes usually cloud the conflict, resulting in many random scenes that pull us away from the actual story at hand. It was rather bare-boned. This really took effect at the ending when Dracula’s father showed up. Mel Brooks was great, but his character felt thrown in. What I meant by the second half being dull earlier is because of the fact that the movie ran out of steam. They used up most of the great humor in the beginning and once they reached the middle of the second act, the blinds starting lifting up, and I saw the plot for what it really was, which wasn’t that great. I didn’t laugh at all towards the end. One last issue I found would be the music. They love to include current songs, usually pop songs. These are the ones that are playing on the radio constantly and I wish I could stop hearing them. It muddles the tone of this film and I think it should be changed when Sony releases the third installment (yes, they announced another one). Overall, this film made me laugh for half of the time and it was a nice drawback from the dramas I usually watch. It just needed to up the stakes with its story. FINAL SCORE: 75%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: