The first Hotel Transylvania movie was one that came as quite the surprise. It was a film with actors who I'm not particularly big fans of, yet the film was actually quite sweet, funny and likeable. A sequel seemed like a good idea in theory, and it was bound to happen, but it wasn't necessary. But hey, we got one and so I'm here to review it. But is it as good as the original? Not even close, unfortunately. It's by no means a bad movie, but it's far from perfect.
The film picks up not too long after the end of the first film. Dracula's (Adam Sandler) daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), is getting married to Jonathan (Andy Samberg), the human she fell in love with in the first film. We then montage through the next five years of their life, and it's during these five years that the two of them give birth to a baby boy, Dennis (Asher Blinkoff). The thing is... Dennis, being the child of both a human and a vampire, is a human. Dracula, being a proud vampire, isn't too keen on this, convinced that Dennis is just a late bloomer, and so when Mavis and Jonathan go away on a vacation, Dracula takes this opportunity to release Dennis' inner vampire. He's on a mission to turn Dennis into a vampire, no matter what it takes.
Just like with the first film, Hotel Transylvania 2 is a charming, funny and likeable animation and it's easily one of the best things Sandler has done in a while, excluding the first film. The Hotel Transylvania franchise, while leagues behind the films of Disney and Pixar and maybe even most Dreamworks movies, are the most entertaining films Sandler has done since Punch-Drunk Love back in 2002, although that film is a masterpiece and so it's hard to top. This second installment isn't quite as funny, nor original, as the first was, but it's still a decent film for the whole family.
For the majority of the runtime, I was a really big fan of the message they were trying to get across. It was relevant and just obvious enough for little kids to take notice, but they weren't in your face about it. It was a solid and important message, yet it's completely ruined in the final ten minutes. I won't spoil what they do wrong, but a certain event happens that just completely contradicted the message they were trying to send, and yet they continue to send this message anyway. The scene just didn't fit.
The humour this time around is less frequent and more childish than it was in the original, most of the good jokes just stolen from that film. There are a couple of solid laughs here and there, Nick Offerman's presence, while underused, worked really well, but as a whole, it's pretty hit and miss. There's a decent joke every so often, but when it comes down to it, it's severely laking in the comedy department, and the kids in my theatre weren't laughing too hard, either. So much for appealing to your demographic.
To sum up, Hotel Transylvania 2 is a charming, likeable and beautifully animated film that the whole family can enjoy, even if they contradict their own message in the finale and the jokes are rather hit and miss.