Hotel Transylvania 2

Hotel Transylvania 2

2015, PG, 89 min. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Voices by Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Fran Drescher, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Dana Carvey, Mel Brooks.

REVIEWED By Josh Kupecki, Fri., Sept. 25, 2015

Let’s take a moment to consider the feckless career of Adam Sandler. Once upon a time an SNL star on the rise, he hit pay dirt with a series of successful Nineties comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer) before flirting with greatness (Punch-Drunk Love), and then self-reflection (Funny People), before finally settling into a nadir of horribly themed rom-coms (Just Go With It, Blended), excuses to party with his celebrity bros (Grown Ups 1 & 2), and downright fucking weirdness (The Cobbler). He tapped ex-SNL writer Robert Smigel to help craft 2012’s Hotel Transylvania, a family-friendly animated romp that performed quite well. And here we are, three years later, checking in to that establishment once again for an uninspired sequel that may entertain the wee ones for 90 minutes, but leaves their adult handlers out in the cold.

When we last left Dracula (Sandler) and his daughter Mavis (Gomez), she had fallen head-over-heels for Jonathan (Samberg), an anomalous human amidst the monsters that comprise the “Drac Pack”: Frankenstein (James), the Invisible Man (Spade), the Wolfman (Buscemi), and the Mummy (Key, taking over for CeeLo Green, who smartly bowed out of this entry). The film opens with Mavis and Jonathan’s wedding, and soon after, little baby Dennis appears, and Dracula couldn’t be happier. Except Dennis is slow to exhibit his vampiric tendencies, which makes Dracula worried that his monster genes have not taken, and he may just be a dull human. So while Jonathan takes Mavis to visit his parents (Offerman and Mullally, doing their respective things) in Santa Cruz, Calif., the Drac Pack seeks to teach toddler Dennis the benefits of being a monster.

While the theatre full of children I shared this screening with chortled and guffawed at the various antics, if you’re over 10 your mileage may vary, despite the movie’s 3-D embellishments. The film relies too heavily on silly puns for comedy, and doesn’t throw any (funny) bones toward the older audience. Channeling your inner child, you may find solace in Hotel Transylvania 2, but in the end it has no bite, doing continued disservice to the Universal monsters it scabs out, and adding another soiled feather to Sandler’s cap of mediocrity.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Genndy Tartakovsky Films
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Drac packs some serious SPF sunscreen when the Goth-ish animation goes aquatic

Danielle White, July 13, 2018

Hotel Transylvania
There's no need to put a stake in the heart of this animated film full of familiar monsters; it's already deadly dull.

Marc Savlov, Sept. 28, 2012

More by Josh Kupecki
Evil Does Not Exist
A glamping development threatens a small mountain village in Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s follow-up to Drive My Car

May 10, 2024

Io Capitano
Despite strong performances, migrant tale is broadly told

March 15, 2024


Hotel Transylvania 2, Genndy Tartakovsky

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle