Hotel Transylvania 2 review: ‘Passable if unremarkable entertainment’

09:23 20 October 2015

Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) and Dracula (Adam Sandler) with Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Frank (Kevin James) in Hotel Transylvania 2. Picture: Sony Pictures Animations

Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) and Dracula (Adam Sandler) with Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Frank (Kevin James) in Hotel Transylvania 2. Picture: Sony Pictures Animations

© 2015 Sony Pictures Animation, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC. FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY. SALE, DUPLICATION OR TRANSFER OF THIS MATERIAL IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

This slapstick sequel is reminiscent of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons of yesteryear, says Michael Joyce.

Adam Sandler is again refusing to show his face and hiding behind the figure of Dracula in this animated sequel. After 15 years of almost unbroken and often inexplicable success, Adam Sandler’s career has derailed spectacularly in the twentytens apart from Hotel Transylvania, a children’s film about a guestcastle (proprietor V. Dracula) which caters exclusively for the Monster fraternity: Frankenstein, Invisible Man, that crowd.

While the original was about an establishment with a restricted entry code, the follow up addresses the issue of mixed marriages. It starts with the nuptuals of Jonathan (Samberg), the human who had blundered into the hotel in the first film, with Dracula’s daughter (Gomez) and the arrival of their first child, Dennis (voiced by Sandler’s daughter Sunny.) The two sides of the family then battle and tussle for his identity – will he grow up as a vampire or as a human?

Hotel Transylvania 2 is definitely not from the top drawer of animation, but still impressive. What is striking, however, is that though the computer-generated images are far more sophisticated, it is remarkably similar to the Hanna-Barbera cartoons of my youth. The animation may remind you of Shrek but the double takes and visual slapstick is very Flintstones or Scooby Doo. It all makes for passable if unremarkable entertainment. The character designs are appealing and cute and there are some mild laughs throughout, though there was a noticeable absence of the kind of big laugh that really draws the whole audience together. At one point Dracula says “We don’t have time for zingers,” and that is self-evident.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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