Genndy Tartakovsky’s returns back to the helm, while Sandler lends his indelible, versatile vocals to the role of Dracula, now coping with the customary repercussions of being a father-in-law, after his daughter Mavis’ (Selena Gomez) marriage to human being, Jonathan (Andy Samberg). Having dropped his rigid monsters-only policy, we’re beginning to see a new side to the renowned, gothic antagonist, but when he learns that he is soon to be a grandfather to a half-human child, he begins to panic that the new member of the family may not ever grow fangs, and become the vampire he is expected to turn into.
Though the execution of the leading theme is somewhat contrived and unsubtle, the picture does manage to be identifiable to a viewer, who can place this seemingly haphazard coming together of two families of different species, as being akin to a mere culture clash in real life. You’re able to find similarities between the conflicting idiosyncrasies of both Mavis and Jonathan’s respective families, grounding this fantastical narrative, as we can all relate to situations where you feel like your relatives are all completely, and embarrassingly off-the-wall, while those of the other half are endearingly normal and conventional.
The story isn’t the strongest asset to this title though, that’ll be the persistent stream of puerile jokes, most of which aren’t exactly conducive to the narrative, not driving it forwards in any way, but will keep you chuckling quietly throughout. Not all of them are brazenly presented either, with small, seemingly innocuous moments happening in the background, that if you keep an eye out for, will be keep you entertained enough. Talking of which, it’s funny to have Nick Offerman – who keeps turning up in films as the supporting role of a dad to a primary character – now turning up in a supporting role as a dad to a primary character, except in animation form.
Ultimately, Hotel Transylvania 2 survives off one joke stretched out, and it was one that just about sustained the viewer’s enjoyment in the first picture of the franchise. It’s a standard gimmick, as we explore the mundanities of the monsters, normalising and humanising them comically – but thankfully it’s one that works, and even better, it’s actually rather funny.