I absolutely loved Hotel Transylvania. The humor was spot on, the characters were a fun take on classic movie monsters, and the story was brilliantly enjoyable. Hotel Transylvania 2 really tried, but wasn’t quite as good as the first film.
The film begins with Mavis and Johnny getting married, then jumps forward a bit and Mavis has a bouncing baby cherub with loads of curly red hair (he reminded me of the triplets from Brave). Though he doesn’t immediately show any monstrous tendencies, his grandfather Dracula is hopeful the young Dennis will show some signs by the time he is five.
With no monster signs in evidence, Mavis decides the family needs to consider moving closer to Johnny’s family in California. The rest of Hotel Transylvania 2 is about Dracula and Johnny doing everything they can to get Dennis to show his monster side so they can stay in Transylvania.
All the characters from the first film are back: Wayne and Wanda have even more werepups in their litter, Frank and Eunice are still falling-to-pieces in love, Griffin has an imaginary girlfriend, and Murray is still wrapped up in himself. Many of the jokes in the film fell a bit flat. How many invisible man jokes can be made before people see right through them? My favorite characters were secondary characters: Winnie, a werewolf girl who has a crush on Dennis, and Vlad, Dracula’s father. Their scenes were awesome.
The plot wasn’t as interesting in Hotel Transylvania 2. I really enjoyed the few times where Mavis and Johnny were interacting with Dennis, and Drac was definitely interested in his grandson. That was the extent of the memorable bits, though. It seemed to be aimed more at little kids this time, with less of the broad spectrum humor which carried the first film. It was really predictable, too.
In the first film, I really enjoyed the music. It fit the scenes and enhanced my enjoyment considerably. I was really annoyed when Sony didn’t release a soundtrack then, but I don’t really care this time around. The music this time around never really moved beyond filler material for me. It didn’t ruin anything, but it just disappeared and was very forgettable.
I really think this film would have been more effective as a release straight to video. I will be picking up Hotel Transylvania 2 for my collection, but mostly because it was enjoyable enough that I think my kids will enjoy it. Definitely need to go back to the story department and make things a little stronger, Sony.
Release Date: September 25, 2015 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief social drinking)
Violence: 1 (slapstick, mild peril, a few brief scary faces)