The central weaknesses of 2012’s animated hit voiced by Adam Sandler, et al. remain in its sequel. With so many good kid-friendly horror movies being produced, both Hotel Transylvanias do nothing characteristically monstrous with their cast of actual monsters.
The follow-up deals with Sandler’s Dracula becoming a vam-pa to Dennis, the son of his vamp-daughter, Mavis (v. Selena Gomez), and human son-in-law, Jonathan (v. Andy Samberg). Apparently, the other monsters—Frankenstein (v. Kevin James), Wayne the werewolf (v. Steve Buscemi), Griffin the invisible man (v. David Spade) and Murray the mummy (v. Keegan-Michael Key)—are still permanent guests at Drac’s hotel, which is now open to humans.
Despite its core lack of monstrousness, Hotel Transylvania 2 has lots of energy and zips along merrily. One just wishes director Genndy Tartakovsky of “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Samurai Jack” and “Star Wars: Clone Wars” had someone else’s ideas to work with besides those of Sandler. The animation remains outstanding; if only the narrative had more creatively horrific pop. For most parents, Hotel Transylvania 2 will serve its purpose as effectively as a night in a generic hotel chain.
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