When the first "Hotel Transylvania" came out back in 2012, it got a very interesting reaction from critics and audiences alike. Where critics hated it and dismissed it as a throwaway animated movie, audiences liked it and called it a fun time. I agreed with the audience. Though I didn't see the first movie as a classic, I still found it fun and silly enough to give it a slight recommendation. With the sequel "Hotel Transylvania 2", I actually found it better. It was not only just as funny if not funnier than the first film, but it's even sillier as it has jokes and ideas that I actually could find myself watching again.
A few years after the first movie, Dracula's daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her new human husband Jonathan (Andy Samberg) have married and had a son whom they name Dennis (Asher Blinkoff). With his fifth birthday approaching, everyone's excited, especially Dracula (Adam Sandler) who sees this as the time where he would grow fangs and become a vampire. However, Mavis is starting to become uncomfortable with having Dennis around the hotel as she feels that he might be a human and is considering moving him and Jonathan to California. Hoping to see if his grandson is a vampire, Dracula sends Mavis and Jonathan to California in hopes of seeing what is like there while he, Frankenstein (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade) and Murray the Mummy (Keegan Michael-Key) try to get Dennis to get his vampire skills in.
This film was really funny. Right off the bat, I knew we were in good hands when the film opens up with some clever jokes about how Jonathan's family felt uncomfortable being with monsters at the wedding. The film definitely plays up a lot of the laughs and also scraps most of the juvenile jokes that were in the opening of the first movie. The scenes with Dracula and Dennis were definitely the highlight of the movie. Seeing them bond together as well as seeing Dracula always get constantly annoyed by the other monsters and some of the stuff Dennis says was really funny. The animation is also a step better than it was in the first film. Though I still stand by my claim that both of these films would have been better if they were hand-drawn, the computer animation clearly shined in this film. Not only was it better rendered, but the fast-paced energy was lots of fun and it did lead to lots of great slapstick moments. The characters were great as well. Not only did the new ones work their magic again, but even some of the new ones were pretty funny. I liked Jonathan's parents and even Dennis who could have been annoying but actually was charming. I even liked seeing him and Wayne's daughter Winnie bonding together. That was such a cute moment and I seriously wish there was more of it because I didn't feel there was enough in the film. The film isn't fully devoid of problems. Once again, the soundtrack is dated. I really hated hearing these modern pop songs in these movies though I will admit it wasn't nearly as bad as the first film. The product placement in this film did drive me crazy as well. This film really had an over-reliance on showing Sony's smartphones which included one scene involving Dracula trying to use it. That was a hard scene to sit through. Also, the film did lag in the third act. I'll admit that I was invested throughout most of the film, but near the ending, I did get a little bored and even glanced at my watch. Even though that's never a good sign for any movie I watch, it's honestly just a nitpick.
"Hotel Transylvania 2" is better than the first movie with a funnier story, animation that was really stepped up and new characters that definitely blended in well with the old characters. I really do mean it when I say that this film could have some rewatch value as I did find myself really enjoying this movie. It was certainly a lot of fun.