Hotel Transylvania 2: Sandler-Headed Animated Sequel Lacks Spark & Imagination
Adam SandlerAndy Samberg...
Engaging but not particularly remarkable, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Hotel Transylvania 2 is, unfortunately, not much of an improvement from its equally mediocre 2012 predecessor. Light on intelligent humour, heavy on the slapstick, the result is once again a mixed bag; an animated effort which will please the young viewers, but not anyone older than maybe 10.
Taking place in and around the titular hotel, the story is once again centered on Dracula (voiced by Sandler); the human-hating owner of the hotel who – in the previous film – has tried so hard to destroy the romance between his daughter, Mavis (Gomes) and her goofy human-backpacker beau, Jonathan (Samberg) but ultimately, failed to get very far with his plan.
Now, five years later after his daughter’s wedding, Dracula has to deal with yet another troubling obstacle; his half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis (Blinkoff) who is refusing to give in to his vampire side. Desperate for an heir, grandpa Dracula – who has opened his doors to the ‘normal’ people ever since his daughter’s wedding – decides to send the happy couple to California so that Mavis can meet her in-laws whilst, he can hang back and show his grandson the ropes of being a monster.
Working from the script written by Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler, Hotel Transylvania 2 is not a total miss. Told through a series of colorful and highly-spirited dynamics, the story is designed to appeal to a much younger audience and for those kids who found the first movie likeable and engaging, won’t have a problem connecting it to it the second time around. However, it is once again having problems in reaching out to the older crowd and even though, the writers have decided on a slightly different approach to the humor – fewer fart and bathroom jokes this time – the overall effect is still pretty underwhelming.
Sandler – in his first-ever animated sequel – is surprisingly pleasing as the desperate father and grandfather who will do anything to pass on his wisdom – and vampire customs – to his grandson. Meanwhile, as his one-hundred-and-eighteen year-old daughter, who too is being thrown into her own world of anxieties, Gomes has once again managed to come across as a relatively likable young woman, while Samberg’s over-enthusiastic ways tend to be a little infuriating.
On the whole, Hotel Transylvania is an entertaining animated diversion and a passable effort from the folks over at Sony; colorful, dynamic but a tad chaotic towards the end, it definitely has its flaws but, still plenty of fun for the under-ten-year-olds in the crowd.