Orange County School of the Arts

Review: Hotel Transylvania 2 is back

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Hotel Transylvania 2

As far as sequels go, Hotel Transylvania 2 makes the cut. Unlike Minions, which was incredibly dumbed down with not even an intelligent morsel for older viewers, the film still maintains its spooky magic with a couple of clever lines here and there, even if the second act drags a little.

The first movie focused on overcoming prejudice—the second focuses on acceptance rather than merely tolerance.  In an effort to scare the “fangs” out of Dennis, Drac and the gang from the original go overboard trying to prove that Dennis is a vampire and that he belongs at the Hotel. Jonathan (Andy Samberg), Mavis’s human husband, is not much help here—he’s literally heavyweight that the movie tends to toss aside.

The first and the third act were particularly well done, with a creative (albeit sometimes gross) reintroduction to monster-human life at the Hotel and an exciting finale reminiscent of the family teamwork in The Incredibles. Vampa (Vampire-Grandpa) Drac and Mavis are the cornerstones of the movie but Dennis is the scene-stealer with his big eyes and lovable personality. The rest of the characters are easily forgettable in the predictable, but still amusing plot.

The movie is ultimately made for an audience of under 10, with its fair share jokes that strike a chord and jokes that fall flat. The filmmakers do acknowledge that it is unlikely six and seven-year-olds would be watching the movies by themselves, so the theater alternates between adult and child laughter. There’s a running gag where Jonathan introduces social media and technology to the monsters which includes sharp and funny references to the world we know so well. There are even some lines that act as droll social commentary, so kudos to the writers for making the 89 minutes of runtime a little more bearable. Parents might be checking their watches but at least they won’t be leaving the theater for suspiciously long “bathroom breaks.” Plus, they’ll be satisfied with the endearing message of loving people for who they are, not who you want them to be.

Hotel Transylvania 2 glides into theaters September 25, 2015.