Review: Hotel Transylvania 2

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Distributor: Sony Pictures Animation
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Writers: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel
Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Rating: PG
Being the sequel of the original Hotel Transylvania in 2012, Hotel Transylvania 2 offers nothing new. It’s funny and witty, but the concept is almost the same.

Storyline

After Dracula’s daughter Mavis marries her human fiancé Jonathan, the monster hotel known as Hotel Transylvania opens up to both humans and monsters alike. Just when things are settling with the change in management and everyday life, Mavis announces to her father that she is pregnant and the possibility of moving if her son does not inherit his vampire fangs and abilities by the age of five. After sending Mavis and Jonathan on vacation, Dracula and the gang do everything they can to get Mavis’s son to become a vampire.

Content Guide

Violence: There are fights between vampires but nothing graphic.
Language/Crude Humor: While this particular monster is made out of jello, he pees on the side of the road in front of a tree when making a pit-stop.
Sexual Content: Nothing.
Drugs/Alcohol References: None.
Spiritual Content: While they are monsters, there really is no spiritual or dark magic connection. The mummy known as Murray, however, does an ancient Egyptian dance to call on a sandstorm. It is more fun and playful than it sounds.
Positive Content: Contains moments of closure and reconciliation between the Dracula family and their five year old son.

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Presentation

Though this is classified as a family film, it is clearly aimed primarily for children. For nearly an hour and a half children, will be laughing over the many comedic moments. Comedy aside, during the more serious scenes children can have some moral takeaway as they are given the opportunity to think about what it means to be different from everyone else and how being different is never wrong. You are who you are in how you were created.
In the previous film, there was a separation between humans and monsters. As the two races come together in Hotel Transylvania 2, children will begin to see that outward appearance only goes so far when you really and truly get to know someone, and being different from the social norm is nothing to be ashamed of. Not only that, but they also learn that family sticks together. No matter what differences there are or what paths each member of the family chooses to take, because in the end, they are still family.

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Even though many jokes kept the audience in stitches, a large number of them felt really forced. Adam Sandler’s voicing as Dracula seemed as if he was trying to be funny or cunning in every scene. It is noticeable let alone annoying.
About halfway through the film, the plot dragged on. The length of the film was certainly for a child’s own comprehension, however, what made it feel slower than usual was the addition of new characters toward the end that do not hold a major key point to the plot other than just showing up.
They make a grand entrance as if they were important throughout when they were not even there most of the film. It felt unnecessary to add in new characters out of the blue to keep the story going. Honestly, it could have gone on in a different, let alone better, direction without them.
What I personally found enjoyable in Hotel Transylvania 2 was the how the supporting cast played a larger part and how they all contributed to the humor. At certain points, they were funnier than the main characters themselves, from their witty dialogue to their spotlight moments.

Conclusion

While the film is aimed at children and is no doubt enjoyable for them, it is not an animated film that will stick around for long. The reason why adults love and appreciate some of the animated films they grew up watching was because they were worth watching multiple times over the years without ever getting old. These films often included elements only adults could catch or humor that wasn’t completely slap-stick or potty-jokes. The same cannot be said for Hotel Transylvania 2. While it is cute, its wittiness and humor will only take it so far.

Positives

+ Family friendly + Comedic and heartwarming

Negatives

- Unnecessary characters - Cliché ending

The Bottom Line

While the comedic scenes and witty dialogue can get a laugh out of you, they are hardly memorable. Children will enjoy Hotel Transylvania 2 for its humor, but it will not stick around as other animated films have.

 

7.7

Trey Soto

Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.

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