Like “Hotel Transylvania” in 2012, its sequel too is testament to the fact that these days the most enjoyable Adam Sandler films are the ones in which he isn’t on screen. Sandler sticks to lending his voice once again to Count Dracula in “Hotel Transylvania 2”, and although the new film doesn’t have the freshness of the first, a steady stream of slapstick gags and clever one-liners ensures that you’re seldom bored.
Drac, now living happily with his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her human husband Jonathan (Andy Samberg), suddenly finds he has a pressing issue to deal with when it starts to become apparent that his baby grandson Dennis may have none of the vampirish tendencies that ‘Vampa’ was counting on. Convinced that the kid must be a late-fanger, Drac gathers his monster pals (Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade) and whisks Dennis off for a rites-of-passage road trip so he is encouraged to embrace his dark side.
Director Gendy Tartakovsky keeps the jokes coming fast and furious, while slipping in the odd message about respecting those that are different from us. There are some nicely staged set-pieces too, although a final-act action sequence involving fearsome monsters might scare the really little ones.
Sandler performs his voice duties competently, giving us a character that’s wildly over-the-top and relatable at once. Scenes in which Drac wrestles with technology are a real hoot, as is his version of the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.
I’m going with three out of five for “Hotel Transylvania 2”. It’s familiar stuff, but also unmistakably entertaining.