Hotel Transylvania was a far bigger success than many people expected. Indeed, even Sony Pictures appeared to be taken by surprise, but it didn’t take them long to decide a sequel was needed. That follow-up quickly takes us through the next few years of the story, which sees monsters and humans starting to get along better across the world.
Dracula’s daughter Mavis marries slacker boyfriend Jonathan and they have a child, Dennis. As Dennis is only half-vampire, it’s not clear whether he will end up being a monster or not, but Dracula is determined that before he’s five, his grandson will spout fangs, as he knows that otherwise he will remain human forever. Mavis meanwhile feels that if Dennis is indeed more human than monster, perhaps it would be better if they went to live in the ‘normal’ world.
Neither Jonathan nor Dracula want that to happen, and so they hatch a plot to get Mavis to agree to keep living at the Hotel Transylvania, but Drac’s tendency to take things too far may ruin everything, as he goes to ever greater extremes to get Dennis to show off some monster powers. And that’s not to mention Dracula’s dad, Vlad, who isn’t aware his great-grandson is half-human and still holds old fashioned, human-hating ways.
Rather like the first movie, Hotel Transylvania 2 is quite fun while you’re watching it, but it’s not particularly memorable. That does mean however that it does its most important job, which is to ensure youngsters are kept entertained with plenty of silly humour, wacky antics and animated action. Adults are less likely to have fun, but if you don’t mind a bit of good-natured nonsense you shouldn’t mind it at all.
Again, as with the earlier film it constantly feels like it’s striving to be about something and to find some deeper meaning in its story. Hotel Transylvania 2 knows that there ought to be a message that it can bring out of its story of humans and monsters coming to terms with each other and having a child that isn’t what they expected. Throughout the movie it feels like its striving for some sort of meaning and occasionally it manages to hit on something interesting, but overall it never quite gets to grips with the various issues it’s dealing with. It’s certainly not a disaster, but a little more emotional depth wouldn’t have gone amiss.
All that’s not going to matter too much to the target audience, who are likely to laugh at Drac’s attempts to turn Dennis into a monster and the general nuttiness of life at the hotel.
Overall Verdict: An amusing trip back to the Hotel Transylvania which continues on from the first film in managing to be passably fun and good for kids, while not being at all memorable.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac