Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hotel Transylvania 2 [2015]

MPAA (PG) CNS/USCCB (A-II)  ChicagoTribune (3 Stars) (1 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C+)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (R. Bentley) review (S. Wloszczyna) review
AVClub (J. Hessenger) review

Hotel Transylvania 2 [2015] (directed by Genndy Tartakovsky screenplay by Adam Sandler along with Robert Smigel) continues this "animated Twilight [1] [2]-like story for kids," focused on the father / daughter relationship, Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and his daughter Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez), both vampires, after Mavis falls in love with and marries a "California backpacking / skate-boarding dude" human named Jonathan (voiced by Andy Samberg). 

In the first film, blissfully (if also somewhat mindlessly) "trekking through Transylvania," Jonathan had by sheer accident stumbled-over to Dracula's carefully hidden "WAY, WAY off the beaten path" Hotel Transylvania.  Dracula had opened said hotel "for monsters (ONLY!)" so that monsters could have a place to rest / vacation in peace away from humans who he could only assume continued to hate them.  (In the first movie, we find out that Dracula's wife / Mavis' mother had been murdered by torch-carrying villagers ... Frankenstein (voiced in the story by Kevin James) had to similarly flee in front of torch-carrying villagers.  Other monsters, including werewolves, mummies, etc didn't fare much better).

'Cept here was smiling from ear-to-ear, happy go-lucky (and perhaps not particularly bright) Jonathan, who just found Dracula's CASTLE (err ... Hotel) and then Dracula's DAUGHTER (!) "way cool!"   What to do about a human who HONESTLY doesn't hate [you] anymore?  (Maybe it's just because he's just DUMB, but MAYBE it's also because he honestly finds NO REASON to hate anybody anymore, someone who just enjoys life / "his mellow" ;-). 

So at the end of the first film, despite past fears / prejudices against humans, Dracula consents to allow his beloved (and ONLY) daughter Mavis marry this rather odd, new kind of human.

... At the beginning of this, the second installment of the story, Mavis gives birth to her / Jonathan's first son, Dennis (voiced by Asher Blinkoff).  But now, is he "a Monster" or "a human"?  He's got rather pale skin (good sign, from Drac's POV) but he also curly-red hair.  So he doesn't look much of a Monster.  But Dracula, kinda hopes "Maybe he's just a 'late fanger'"

To be fair, Jonathan's parents Linda and Mike (voiced by Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman) while trying really hard to be "open minded" / "supportive" and hence would not be too too upset if their grandson turned-out to be "a monster" make it (repeatedly) clear that they "wouldn't mind" if little Dennis turned out to be "normal" ;-) ;-) as well ;-). 

Sooo then, what is little Dennis (or as Dracula calls him, "little Denisevic" ;-) going to be?  A monster like "Papa Drac" or 'normal' like his Santa Claus, er Santa Cruz ;-), residing human relatives ;-).

And mind you, it's NOT just "Dracula" against this horde of "kinder gentler, more enlightened / more supportive human relatives from California" ;-) ... Drac has his own problems ... notably his own OLD SCHOOL vampire Dad named Vlad (voice by Mel Brooks, the BEST (!), MOST INSPIRED CASTING CHOICE IN A LONG LONG TIME ;-) who'd just assume DRAIN / EAT Jonathan's parents / relatives rather than _even try_ to "get to know them" ;-). 


Brilliant Adam, simply brilliant.  And soooo, soooo much better than the summer's Pixels [2015] ;-).   Good job!

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