After the original Hotel Transylvania debuted in 2012 to much success it was no surprise that they went into production on a follow up as they do with every animated film. The latest aptly titled Hotel Transylvania 2 features a great voice cast including Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Dana Carvey, Rob Riggle, Mel Brooks, Jon Lovitz, Robert Smigel, Nick Swardson, and Allen Covert, but can it capture whatever magic the first one had or will it finally have to close its doors for good?
Hotel Transylvania 2 follows Dracula and his friends as they try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel. The first film worked on some level, but as a whole just never really felt all that cohesive and this latest one falls into the same category. The story is simple and predictable, but does manage to move the characters forward further into their story than most films like this do. This gives them a new playing field in hopes to evolve them further and have more locals to play in outside of just the hotel. This should have been the thing that made this film over power the original, but instead most of the jokes feel forced or fall flat. The first half of the film is a bit slow paced and doesn’t offer up many laughs despite trying its best to get them. There are a lot of moments that feel like they literally slapped them in there for a laugh so they didn’t have to have the main players step out of the story. Thankfully the last half of the film does pick up quite a bit and offers up some funny moments and fun action most notably once Mel Brooks character of Vlad enters the picture. From this point forward the film is pretty good and should have been a major plot point to the entire film and it would have likely worked a lot better. Despite its story flaws there is no denying that it is a pretty film and the animation and character designs are great. The voice actors all do a good job with their parts, they just don’t have much to work with.
At the end of the day these films are for kids and despite what all of the grumpy adults think these films will find their audience. This series could easily cross entertain all ages and even offers up some mature themes to help with this, but just can’t get out of its own way. It will no doubt make a ton of money so this will likely not be the last time we see Dracula and the gang, but hopefully they will let loose and really have some fun with it in the future as there is a great movie in there just screaming to get out.