With Halloween around the corner, there are very few options in films unless you’re the kind of parent that is fine taking your child to the latest slasher film. Not everyone is into potentially emotional scarring at such a young age and that is where Hotel Transylvania 2 comes in. In a statement I don’t make very often, this Adam Sandler film is a great, harmless option for your children in this spooky season.
Writer and star Adam Sandler delivers his least offensive project since this franchise’s first film, with greater success. Saying this film is inoffensive is an understatement. Compared to Sandler’s previous body of work, consisting of sexist, racist and politically incorrect jokes, this film’s sheer innocuousness is very refreshing. Hotel Transylvania 2‘s story builds upon the first one with greater success, making the jokes a bit funnier and the additions to the cast much more exciting for adults. Don’t be confused because this is still a children’s film, so tropes about familial issues, acceptance and diversity are unfortunately present. Just because they are old hat for us doesn’t mean that children won’t be devouring it. The animation was crisp, engaging and sometimes very vibrant in spite of its macabre settings.
The story was very predictable and at times overly scary… or so I thought. As a child, I was beyond fascinated with the scary world of Scooby-Doo. So when they had crossovers with iconic occult figures, I was in cartoon heaven. Gauging the reactions of the children in the theater, it was clear they enjoyed it too. Like the first film, some of the references were for the adults who grew up on these horror films. It offers the adults and parents a way to bond over these iconic figures, which introducing the kids to a cinematic world that they will be able to appreciate more when they are old enough to see the films/read the books these characters are based in. Or they’ll be ready in the next few years when Universal Studios launches their connected horror creature universe.
For adults, this film might be beyond trite and every plot turn anticipated, but this film isn’t really for us. I’ll admit that there are a few jokes that only adults would understand, and several celebrity actors only adults would appreciate. Mel Brooks being the most important with his unmistakeable voice. Sitting through this film will easily make you want to watch Young Frankenstein. Aside from Sandler’s typical cast consisting of friends like James, Samberg, Buscemi, Spade, et al, we get some exciting additions in the form of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. As an adult, those are our incentives for sitting through this film. That and for the enjoyment of the children that will no doubt be dragging you to see this.
If Adam Sandler were to influence our children in any way, I’m beyond relieved that it is through his animated films showcasing acceptance and diversity over his live-action films touting sexist gender roles and stereotypes bordering on racism. In that respect, Hotel Transylvania 2 is a Sandler-scale success.
RATING: ★★★★★★ (6/10 stars)