There are two running gags in Hotel Transylvania 2, and both are not directed at the children. One deals with overprotective parents, the other with over political correctness. Unfortunately, they are also the only two gags that work in this excitable, frenetic film, apparently about finding one’s own true self, that can’t even let that line be said without some activity in the background.
Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny (Samberg) get married, get pregnant and have a child within the first couple of minutes into this sequel to the mildly successful Hotel Transylvania. The human Johnny’s parents make their appearance but it’s a largely unremarked upon event at the hotel full of monsters. It’s when the baby, Dennis, starts growing and Dracula (only called ‘Drac’) keenly begins the wait for signs of vampire-hood in him that this animation film kicks in.
Dracula ignores Mavis’s appeals to let Dennis be, as he looks for fangs, drops him down heights to see if he can fly, sings him lullabies full of horrors, and frowns upon the TV version of lovable monsters that the boy watches at bedtime. However, Tartakovsky’s film doesn’t have the patience to let any strand play out, and the other monsters and their antics keep interrupting.
As part of his plan to initiate Dennis into vampire-dom, whether he is ready or not, Dracula conspires to send Mavis and Johnny on a trip. They visit his home town in Santa Cruz, a section of the film that stands out simply because Mavis is perhaps the only natural thing in this film. She is excited about being in a big city for the first time, but more than a bit guilty about leaving Dennis behind.
It’s hard to like the entirely incompetent Johnny, and given the screen time he hogs, even Dracula. There is little winsome about a father with claws so deep into his daughter’s life — no pun intended.
P.S.: Those claws have a starring role of own. Dracula is repeatedly shown struggling with his touchphone on account of the talons he sports. Plenty of time for you to notice the phone brand.
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, David Spade