Hotel Transylvania 2
(PG) Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez
Dracula (Adam Sandler) and the monster crew are back and the Hotel Transylvania is modernising by becoming more human-friendly. For fans of the original animated outing, the love story continues between human Johnny (Andy Samberg) and vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez). They finally get married and have their first child, Dennis (Asher Blinkoff). Mavis proves to be an over-protective mother and she and Johnny need to get away for the sake of their marriage. Drac is loving being a grandfather, but secretly hopes his grandson will follow in the vampire family line. While Mavis and Johnny take a holiday to see his family in California, Drac enlists the help of his monster friends to train Dennis in the finer vampire arts. Their adventures take them to ‘vampire boot camp’ to determine if Dennis has any vampire skills but this proves difficult, due to modern changes at the camp.
During this life transition for Dennis, the family celebrates his fifth birthday and his great grandfather, Vlad (Mel Brooks), has been invited. The family patriarch is excited about the opportunity to see his grandson for the first time, but is unaware that Dennis is half-man, half-vampire. The question is whether this old-school vampire will be able to cope with this progressive change in his vampire family?
As writer, actor and executive producer, Sandler (Pixels) is a triple threat in Hotel Transylvania 2. To his credit, he does manage to attract a multitude of comedic talent to voice the characters in this monster mash. Also, in comparison to Pixels, this outing has a positive message about the value of family. It also upholds the need for compromise in families, for their growth and unity.
Having steered the first film, director Genndy Tartakovsky delivers a reputable sequel for the younger cinematic audience. The writing and slapstick comedy does become laborious, but the overall core message makes up for all of the animated tomfoolery. Even the consideration that vampires are known for preying on humans for their blood is minimised and relegated to Goosebumps-type fun.
I’m not a fan of Sandler but this film shows his moronic comedy might be best set in the world of animation. He is able to restrain the toilet humour and inside jokes amongst his regular entourage of actor friends. His humour hits home with the post-toddler age bracket. These were the children in the theatre that were laughing along with every joke and parents shouldn’t mind the take-home message that their kids will receive.
Similar to Minions from earlier in the year, Hotel Transylvania 2 does not offer anything new to the world of animation, but does provide a harmless option for families at cinemas.
What are the bigger questions we could ask our kids?
- Why do we like good leaders? (Psalm 24:4, Galatians 5:22)
- What does it mean to live with a purpose? (Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:13)
- Why do people still go to Adam Sandler and Kevin James films? (Proverbs 26:11)