October 6, 2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 (Movie Review)
Hotel Transylvania is a 3D animated Comedy that was released in 2012 and set the record for the largest-grossing September opening ever. It held that record until the movie’s sequel, Hotel Transylvania 2, hit theaters. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (How to Eat Fried Worms 2006, Star Wars: Clone Wars 2003), produced by Michelle Murdocca (Stuart Little 1999, Species 1995), written by Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live 1989-present, The Jack and Triumph Show 2015) and Adam Sandler (Grown Ups 2010, Big Daddy 1999), Hotel Transylvania 2 was released via Columbia Pictures on September 25, 2015 with a weekend gross of $48.5 million. In addition, it was the largest opening weekend yet for an Adam Sandler movie.
During the first Hotel Transylvania, Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) decided to end the monsters only policy at his five-star hotel. His daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez: Spring Breakers 2013, Behaving Badly 2014), fell in love with a goofy human, Johnny (Andy Samberg: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2009, Brooklyn Nine-Nine 2013-present), who came to visit his hotel. Years later, Mavis and Johnny are married and have a curly red-haired son named Dennis (Asher Blinkoff: Wake-up Call 2012, Taking Flight 2015). It is unknown if Dennis will be human or Vampire, since fangs and abilities may not show until he is five years old.
Nearing his fifth birthday and no fangs in sight, Mavis believes that the hotel is too dangerous for a human child. She and Johnny visit Johnny’s hometown in California to figure out if it would be a better fit. While Johnny and Mavis are away, Dracula is determined to show his grandson how to be a monster and desperate for Dennis’ fangs to grow in so that the family can stay in the hotel. With some help from his friends Frankenstein (Kevin James: Grown Ups 2010, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2009), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi: Monsters University 2013, Pulp Fiction 1994), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade: Just Shoot Me! 1997-2003, Grown Ups 2010), and Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key: Tomorrowland 2015, Fargo 2014), Dracula puts Dennis through a monster-in-training boot camp that goes horribly wrong. When Mavis’ mind seems to be set, things take an unexpected turn.
While the movie is filled with hilarious sight gags for the children, writer Robert Smigel brings a touch of his Saturday Night Live experience to the script to ensure parents never get bored. There are many references that only adults and older teens will understand, along with nods to many classic monsters. There is something for every member of the family, regardless of age. Although Adam Sandler does not always win over critics and viewers, he does a nice job voicing Dracula and brings a silliness that is entertaining to watch. Releasing the weekend before October, at a time when there are not many family-oriented films in theater, proved to be a wise decision. Hotel Transylvania 2 is a stronger film than the first and the fun creepy atmosphere will get viewers in the Halloween spirit. CrypticRock gives Hotel Transylvania 2, 4 out of 5 stars.