“We don’t need to kill anymore! We have pop tarts!”
Animated sequels are a poisoned chalice. On one hand, another dose can go down well, but on the other, the novelty may be waning. Anyone who has seen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs can attest to this. Cloudy 1 was a real treat. Brilliantly smart and endlessly entertaining, it is at the pinnacle of American children’s film-making this decade. Cloudy 2 was not. The charm was retained but the exaggerated topic was a distraction to hide the dulled emotion. It’s a shame Hotel Transylvania gets caught in the same trap.
The shine is dulled, the animation is hardly inspired, and the laughs are few and far between, even for children. The smorgasbord of classic monsters is a huge comedic target but somehow Sandler and co. manage to miss more than they hit.
The story is generally non-existent. Rarely have we seen a tale of ‘learning to accept everyone as they are’ followed with such little conviction. To subvert the boredom, incongruous and needless acrobatic set-pieces are thrown into the hodgepodge, but they only serve to distract and confuse.
Even the exceedingly impressive voice cast can do little to hide the gaping lack of story. Sandler and Samberg’s recognisable tones penetrate the majority of the picture but it is only the on-screen and off-screen couple of Nick Offerman and Megan Mellally that bring real personality to the picture. The pair may be firmly a sideline act, but any time they grace the animated screen, they steal the limelight. Steve Buscemi’s long-suffering Dadwolf is a well-thought-out character but isn’t developed with enough importance to stand out.
Hotel Transylvania 2 isn’t awful, but it is little more than holiday-themed commercial fodder. It isn’t written well, made well or developed well. Yet, at least there isn’t much to hate. It may not sounds like it but there’s enough charm, colour and entertainment.
Also, when did the dance party finale become so popular?
Header courtesy of beautifulballad. Images courtesy of vue and dailymotion.