October 26, 2015
Family Film Blogging: Hotel Transylvania 2
Posted by Christine Hurt

After recounting the horror of watching Pixels, I noted in my post that Kevin James and Adam Sandler should be banned from making movies together unless they are cartoons about a hotel for monsters.  Here, the two have teamed up again for the sequel to Hotel Transylvania, a movie about a hotel for monsters.  I'm glad they made it, but I'm not sure I'll count the days until the DVD.

I went to this film with just the 8 year-old.  The plot of Hotel Transylvania 2 picks up from the original:  Dracula's 118 year-old daughter, Mavis, has married her human beau, Johnny, and they now have a five year-old son named Dennis.  Dennis seems a lot more humanish than vampirish, and this bothers Drac.  Even though he has changed his ways and adopted the mantra "Vampire?  Human?  Unicorn?" to show his tolerance, he of course wishes that Dennis would start to show signs of being a vampire -- fangs, flying, etc.  His hopes may be intrinsic or instrumental; the more human that Dennis seems, the more Mavis senses that he should be raised in Santa Cruz, CA near Johnny's family and not in Transylvania at the monster hotel.

Drac concocts a scheme whereby Johnny (who wants to stay at Hotel T. and doesn't particularly want to live with his human family in Santa Cruz) takes overprotective mom Mavis on a vacation to California to "check it out," leaving Dennis with his "Vampa."  While the mom is away, Drac and his monster pals try multiple funny ways to get the vampire to emerge from Dennis before his fifth birthday.  These efforts conclude at the birthday party with Drac's dad, a very mean-spirited, human-hating vampire, arriving to show his disgust for Drac's new found inclusive hotel and extended family.  Drac will have to find the courage to stand up to his intimidating dad and not lose Mavis to California at the same time.

The movie has its funny moments, and the overall theme of inclusion and tolerance is well-received in our house.  To me, the best part of Hotel Transylvania was the ensemble cast of funny monsters -- Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his wife (Fran Drescher), the werewolf (David Spade), etc.  Here, there is a lot going on, and the monster pack seems a little lost in the shuffle.  The sequel has to make room for Johnny's equally goofy family, including his parents played by real-life couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman.  Ninety minutes just didn't seem enough time to get attached or re-attached to all these characters.  The friendship between Dennis and the werewolf daughter, Winnie, was pretty cute, though.  All in all, we enjoyed it and would recommend it. 

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