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Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2' has more heart, less raunch

‘Hotel Transylvania 2'

Dracula (Adam Sandler), left, Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) in “Hotel Transylvania 2.”

(Sony Pictures Animation)

“Hotel Transylvania 2" reunites the cast of monsters and humans from the 2012 animated feature, although the tone is more sentimental and less raunchy.

Dracula (voice by Adam Sandler) allows daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) to marry Jonathan (Andy Samberg), the human backpacker she loves. When their baby Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) arrives, Dracula frantically waits for his grandson’s fangs to appear, proving he’s a vampire. The anticipation is complicated by visits from David’s human family and Dracula’s father, Vlad (Mel Brooks), who hates humans.

The script by Sandler and Robert Smigel is largely by the numbers: Dennis must pop his fangs by his 5th birthday or he never will — and that’s just a week away! Even more formulaic are the mawkish “I love you even if you are a human (or a vampire)” moments.

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Although there are entertaining gags about Dracula struggling to use a smartphone and Mavis not understanding a mini-mart, the real fun comes from the animation, especially of Jonathan. Whether he’s trying to dance, execute karate kata or just walk up a flight of stairs, the animators get laughs out of the slacker dude.

As he proved in the TV series “Samurai Jack,” Genndy Tartakovsky is a talented director who knows how to telegraph what an animated character is thinking and doing and how to move a character in ways that suggest personality. He deserves a more interesting assignment than trying to wring laughs out of bodily function jokes.

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“Hotel Transylvania 2.”

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MPAA rating: PG for scary images, action, rude humor.

Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes.

Playing: In general release.


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