Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.
When the first “Hotel Transylvania” made almost $360 million worldwide, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable sequel haunted our theaters. But that’s not a bad thing. The first movie was fun and appealed to all ages and added a little more depth to the mythology of Dracula, for the kiddies. When we first see him, he is dressed in his customary black cape, partially hidden in the shadows but very quickly, we see him come to life (no pun intended) when his young daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) proves to be his pride and joy. Soon after, Drac’s abode, the aptly titled Hotel Transylvania, which caters to monsters only, is brought to a standstill when human backpacker Johnny (Andy Samberg) takes a wrong turn and inadvertently drops by but before Drac can sink his fangs into his jugular, he and Mavis hit it off.
And that’s where part 2 begins. Mavis and Johnny become husband and wife and in no time, they announce to Drac (Adam Sandler) that she is pregnant. He is overjoyed and thrilled that he will have a vampire grandson but as time goes by, and baby Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) shows no signs of his pointy fangs, Drac decides to takes matters into his own hands. Mavis and Johnny are happy that he is showing no Vampiric traits and that he may very well be a normal, human child but they decide to take a trip to Johnny’s home state of California as thoughts of Dennis growing up in a dark, scary hotel in the middle of nowhere, become less and less appealing. With both parents away Drac takes advantage of the situation and takes a trip with Dennis and a few of the guys; Frankenstein (Kevin James), Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), the Invisible Man (David Spade) Murray (Keegan-Michael Key), a short fat mummy and Blobby, a green, gelatin specter.
His idea is to take Dennis to all of the scary places he grew up, in the hopes that they will frighten him so much, the fear will help expedite his fangs but naturally, things have changed in the few hundred years since he was a little boy. No longer do they allow kids to be thrown off soaring, treacherous towers in the hopes that the fear will turn them into bats, hence, learning to fly. Instead, they sit around camp fires and sing about being friends with the whole world. When Drac refuses to believe this is the new way, he scales the tower and once he reaches the top, he throws Dennis off, fully expecting him to turn into a bat. Granted, things don’t go according to plan and the kids at the base of the tower video everything with their phones and halfway around the world, Mavis quickly discovers the footage on YouTube. She informs Drac that when she comes home she will be taking Dennis and they will be moving to America. Drac and his gang must make it back to the hotel before Mavis so he can explain what he was trying to achieve and to stop her from leaving.
“Hotel Transylvania 2” is far superior to the first film and I really enjoyed that one. The voice work from the entire cast was spot-on and while I typically tend to avoid movies with Kevin James and David Spade, nothing personal, I just don’t find them interesting actors, here, as part of a terrific ensemble, they soar. Watching Drac and his friends having to adapt to the ‘new world,’ was, at times, side-splittingly funny. One scene that encompasses the entire castle having to be baby-proofed made me laugh out loud and it’s been a long time since that happened. The movie, like its predecessor, appeals to all ages, from the young kiddies right up to the adults and in this day and age, that is a rare feat indeed.
In theaters September 25th
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