Fa­mil­iar feel

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

When I dis­cov­ered it’s been three years since the first Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia was re­leased, I was gen­uinely shocked.

It feels like yes­ter­day when I set­tled down to sort-of-en­joy the Adam San­dler-led ghoul­ish an­i­ma­tion and the love him or hate him Brook­lyn-born co­me­dian is back to co-pro­duce and lend his dul­cet tones to the re­turn trip.

This time around San­dler’s Drac­ula and his mon­strous friends are forced to try and en­sure his half-hu­man, half-vam­pire grand­son, Den­nis (Asher Blinkoff), em­braces his dark side be­fore daugh­ter Mavis (Se­lena Gomez) de­cides to up sticks and leave the ho­tel.

Much like its pre­de­ces­sor, Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia 2 is an en­ter­tain­ing cor­nu­copia of clas­sic hor­ror char­ac­ters un­der one roof and genre in-jokes ga­lore that, alas, can­not com­pare with more emo­tion­ally meaty, clas­sic an­i­mated fare.

Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky re­turns as di­rec­tor for only his sec­ond big screen out­ing and re­peats the same vis­ual tricks he made first time out, in­clud­ing swoop­ing aerial cam­era shots and a nice mix of bright and gothic colours.

San­dler him­self de­vel­oped the script with first film co-writer Robert Smigel and the main crux of the story breaks off into two fa­mil­iar comedic tropes; the cul­ture clash and road trip.

Jonathan (Andy Sam­berg) and Mavis’ hu­man and mon­ster fam­i­lies are forced to come to­gether in Shrek-like fash­ion when the cou­ple get mar­ried and the pair’s visit to Cal­i­for­nia peaks with a fun stop-off at a 24-hour min­i­mart.

Mean­while, Drac­ula and the gang take Den­nis on a trip down mem­ory lane that doesn’t quite turn out as planned due to the neu­ter­ing of their finest scare tac­tics and old haunts.

Mark­ing San­dler’s least an­noy­ing turn in years, Drac­ula as a fam­ily man is a de­light­ful role-re­ver­sal and the se­quel’s most touch­ing mo­ments are shared be­tween the crack­ing count and his daugh­ter.

The laughs come thick and fast too. Whether it’s clever sight gags – a walk­ing Pi­casso paint­ing, lam­poon­ing Gary Old­man’s take on Drac­ula – or the rather pre­dictable in­clu­sion of the mon­sters try­ing to get to grips with mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, San­dler and Smigel know how to tickle the funny bones of both an­kle biters and those old enough to re­mem­ber watch­ing old Ham­mer hor­rors on TV.

Old favourites like Steve Buscemi’s were­wolf Wayne and Kevin James’ Franken­stein are joined by new­bies in­clud­ing Mel Brooks’ grouchy vam­pire Vlad and Jon Lovitz’s cheeky Phan­tom of the Opera.

The In­vis­i­ble Man (David Spade) and his ‘girl­friend’ steal scenes and there’s thank­fully less screen time for Sam­berg and CeeLo Green’s mummy, two of the first flick’s most grat­ing pres­ences.

Like an an­i­mated Ad­dams Fam­ily – com­plete with its baby son-led se­quel – the Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia se­ries re­mains ac­tion light but harm­less fam­ily fun.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.