Hotel Transylvania 2 is a wacky animated adventure firmly aimed at the family market. The first movie took modern family and parenting ideas and laughed at them in a warm and friendly way, all the while spicing it up with slapstick humour and monster themed gags. The sequel is more of the same.
The premise of the Hotel Transylvania world is simple; monsters are real and they've gone commercial. Drac the vampire runs a hotel and he's assisted by the usual pantheon of monsters; The Invisible Man, The Mummy, a werewolf and of course Frankenstein (short for Frankenstein's Monster or just Frank if you know him well). In the previous movie, one of the human guests fell in love with Drac's daughter Mavis, and in this one they get married and have a child. The rest of the plot is a Drac trying to raise a small child, whilst his parents try and come to terms with being parents. Really, the movie is simply a collection of gags they left out of the first feature with the sentiment layered on thick so you care about the characters.
The movie has a rather strong cast and crew, but despite this, it all feels rather generic. Take director Genndy Tartakovsky for example. He has created some truly remarkable pieces of animation in the past. He has under his belt the likes of Star Wars: Clone Wars and Samurai Jack. This means that Hotel Transylvania 2's action sequences are clever and amusing, with the monster's special powers appearing simple and fun, but it lacks his trademark spark. Adam Sandler practically phones it in, despite being the main actor, and is only really saved by a strong performance from Selena Gomez as Mavis. Mel Brooks also puts in a star turn as a grumpy old vampire.
Despite its plastic Halloween decoration style storyline and characters, Hotel Transylvania 2 is an enjoyable piece of family fare, and perfect for getting little ones into the less scary side of all things spooky.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: GENNDY TARTAKOVSKY / SCREENPLAY: ROBERT SMIGEL, ADAM SANDLER / STARRING: ADAM SANDLER, ANDY SAMBERG, KEVIN JAMES, SELINA GOMEZ, DAVID SPADE, STEVE BUSCEMI / RELEASE DATE: 15TH FEBRUARY