By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

Maybe Adam Sandler is better suited for children’s movies.  Well, I have to say his work in family animated  fare works a hell of a lot better than his attempts at raucous comedy.  Sandle co-writing with Robert Smigel and having Genndy Tartakovski return to direct proves to be a wise choice for the producers of Hotel Transylvania 2 as they have made another hit film.  Though not as great as the first one, this movie still delivers enjoyable cartoon comedy and heartfelt material to keep the little ones and their parentals entertained for a little while.

Seven years after the events of the last film, Count Dracula (Sandler), his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her husband Jonathan (Andy Samberg) are expecting a new addition to the family.  Mavis and Jonathan’s first child Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) warms the hearts of the residents of the Hotel Transylvania and fills Dracula’s heart with much pride and anticipation.  The problem with having a half-human, half-vampire child though is not-knowing how exactly he will turn out.  The proud grandfather Drac can’t wait to steer his grandson into the life of a “monster”, even if it upsets Mavis.

Sandler and Smigel’s  script delivers plenty of laughs for people of all ages to enjoy.  The movie’s first acts work well, but the climax and resolution feel rushed and everything ends perfectly, neatly, and rather too quickly.  I know this probably matters little to the children watching the film, but this issue may or may not bother some adults in attendance.  Considering that the movie is geared towards young children, I find it difficult to completely hate a movie that delivers only what it promises–sweet and adorable family entertainment.  I feel almost silly mentioning what I perceive as a movie’s flaw here, when I’m sure this will matter very little to the target audiences.  I suppose had the movie been painfully bad, then I would feel the need to give adults a heads-up.

Tartakovky knows cartoons well and he uses his skills and the talents of his cast and crew to deliver a solid kid flick.  The returning voice talents include Kevin James (Frankenstein’s Monster), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), and David Spade (Griffin).  Keegan-Michael Key replaces CeeLo Green as (Murray) and other newcomers include Nick Offerman (Grandpa Mike), Megan Mulally (Grandma Linda), and Mel Brooks (Vlad).  These talented actors add to the laughs and offer another reason to go see the film.

I wouldn’t recommend spending top dollar to see Hotel Transylvania 2, but this movie would make for a fun family afternoon at the cinema.  This movie may spook the really young toddlers, but kids older than age 5 should really enjoy the ghoulish humor. It is definitely a film that will get the family in the Halloween spirit.


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