Monday, October 19, 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2

If you want to remember the quirkiness from the first Hotel Transylvania, you'll certainly get it in its successor.  The sequel features Dracula and his daughter Mavis once again, but this time with Mavis' son Dennis, who has yet to get his vampire fangs.  Worried that Mavis will move her family away to live with humans, Dracula wrangles the hotel gang in a series of hilarities to bring out his grandson's monster side.  Also, Dracula's dad shows up.  That part of the plot is shoe-horned as ungracefully in the movie as it is in my synopsis, but more on that later.

I really liked Mavis and Johnny getting together in the first movie (what, I'm a romantic, SUE ME!), so I enjoyed even more watching them get married and having possibly one of the cutest, sweetest animated kids to ever exist.  When they go to see Johnny's family, his mother embarrassed me on so many levels, like a true mom.   She had obnoxious Halloween decorations to make Mavis "feel at home" and invited "mixed" couples of a monster and a human to have dinner.  Unfortunately, one of the couple members told her that he wasn't a werwolf like she thought.  #Awkward!  Anyone else see the parallel with mixed-race couples?  Just wondering.  In general I liked seeing her and other humans interacting with the monsters in the classic fish-out-of-water trope.

From the preview, I knew that Dracula's dad would get incorporated in Dracula's quest to make Dennis a vampire.  I expected him to come into the movie a lot earlier, but instead he showed up in about the last fifteen minutes.  His conflict with the family about Dennis' half-human identity and the swarm of creepy bat monsters he brings with him are resolved too quickly to feel real.  His appearance didn't fit well into the overall arc of Dracula embracing all aspects of his grandson, which had thus far created quite a bit of entertainment for me, and it did not turn into a satisfying father-son reconciliation to make up for it.

Hotel Transylvania 2 is a fun animated kid's movie, although in the end it's simply that: a kid's movie.  I don't mean that negatively, because I laughed and awwwed several times in the theater.  However, when you put up this movie's amusing yet silly characters against the glory of, say, Toy Story, you remember that Hotel Transylvania 2 is not the classic, universal film that adults and kids get nostalgic about generation after generation.  It may be enjoyable for families, but it's missing the substance that takes a movie from decent to great.

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