Movie Review – Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Stars: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Megan Mullally, Fran Drescher, Nick Offerman, Mel Brooks

After Jonathan (Samberg) and Mavis (Gomez) got married a baby, Dennis, was soon on the way. Drac (Sandler) has hopes that he’ll be a vampire, but as Dennis’ fifth birthday approaches he still hasn’t developed any fangs. Meanwhile, Mavis is unsure if the hotel is the best place for Dennis to grow up, and considers moving to California.

It’s a been a few years since Hotel Transylvania. I loved the first movie, and the second one is entertaining enough although it doesn’t quite have the same spark as the first one. There were some really great visual jokes, and from what I could hear the adults in the audience were laughing more loudly than the kids, so it’s one of those films that adults can enjoy just as much, if not more so, than children.

The main theme of the film is acceptance. At first Drac says that he doesn’t care if whether Dennis is a vampire or a human (or a unicorn) but it quickly becomes apparent that it does matter. And it matters to Mavis as well. Jonathan’s parents want Dennis to move to California to be with other ‘normal’ people, while Jonathan and Drac want them to stay at the hotel. In the end the message is that it doesn’t matter who you are, but I don’t think the film was critical enough of the characters who were being intolerant. The human characters were especially bullish and close-minded. There’s a short scene where Dennis’ cousins are shown bullying him, and Mavis winces but nothing is said about it, which I thought was a shame as it shows that just because you’re a monster it doesn’t mean you’re monstrous. Jonathan’s mother kept calling humans ‘normal’ as well, and again I would have liked a little more discussion in the film about why this was wrong because it was basically glossed over.

The other problem I had with the film is Jonathan because he’s a completely passive character. I get that the joke is that he’s a slacker, but for most of the film he’s either being a pawn in Drac’s scheme or acquiescing to Mavis’ wishes without raising his own objections.

Other than that it’s a fun film, although I’m not sure that there’s going to be enough juice left in the series for another one. The visual gags are really the highlight of the film, but it’s fun for all the family.

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