Review 16: Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Adam Sandler was one of my favorite comedic actors growing up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, and Big Daddy. It was somewhere around 50 First Dates that his films really started to decline. I could probably pin-point it to my dislike of Kevin James and the film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry that Sandler fell off my list of favorite comedic actors and onto the washed up guy who didn’t seem to care what he put his stamp on. While I’ve been a fan of some films like Funny People and Grown Ups, I can’t forgive Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, or Pixels. That being said, when my daughter and I picked up Hotel Transylvania 2, which has a 6.8 out of 10 stars on IMDB and 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, from Red Box I was apprehensive but it was a solid animated film with good laughs and fun for the family.
My daughter and I saw the first film in the theater, which again I went to apprehensively, but we had a good time. Hotel Transylvania was purchased and currently resides on my daughter’s movie collection, but it’s been a while since that disc lefts its box. When HT2 came out we considered seeing it in the theater, but we were busy seeing Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and other great films from the summer of 2015…except we suffered through Fantastic Four on my birthday…SUFFERED!!! So, HT2 went out of theaters unwatched and I think we were both okay with that outcome. Nonetheless, we rented it and just finished watching it, and we both enjoyed the film.
The whole cast minus Cee-Lo Green, who was replaced with the better acting of Keegan-Michael Key, returns with lots of other people adding their voices to the bunch including Mel Brooks, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Asher Blinkoff as the new main character Dennis. Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Sandberg) have married and had a child, which the film decides to go through the five years from marriage to the time right before Dennis’s fifth birthday, and are living at the hotel with Dracula (Sandler) and the whole monster crew. If Dennis doesn’t get his fangs before his fifth birthday, we learn, that he will not be a vampire, but a human like his dad. This has Mavis wanting to move away from the hotel to a more normal world, and that destination is California. Dracula can’t stand to lose his daughter and his grandson and sets off on a crazy adventure to push Dennis into getting his fangs.
There are clearly lots of questions that pop-up about the vampire lore of the HT series, like “Do bites not turn people into vampires?” or “Are vampires a naturally occurring species?” Then I remember that this film is for kids and it wouldn’t serve well to have grandpa munching on his grandson’s neck to turn him. Thus the story works for its target audience. The story is split as Mavis and Jonathan visit California to scout out a new home and Dracula and crew take Dennis to see what it’s like to be a monster. Things aren’t looking good for Dracula’s goal and Mavis is having a blast in California.
My favorite moment in the film was the end. I’ll avoid spoilers, but there is a pretty great monster fight scene that is full of the normal family film tropes. It’s enjoyable and concludes the film nicely. There are lots of stupid laugh out loud moments, but most I honestly can’t think of a specific examples afterwards.
This film isn’t a must see by any means. However, if you and your family enjoyed the first one this film offers a similar enjoyable time. It’s definitely worth the $1.50 from Red Box for a family fun film. I give Hotel Transylvania 2 a 6 out of 10 Blah-Bla-Blahs.