Hotel Transylvania REVIEW

Hotel Transylvania.

"Oh my god, apparently I'm voiced by Adam Sandler!"

Release Date: 12 October 2012
U | 91 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi

It’s a diabolical dilemma: a chance to see Samurai Jack/early Clone Wars director Genndy Tartakovsky’s manic style let loose on the big screen again. But it’s wrapped around an Adam Sandler film. Argh!

Fortunately, the director’s side largely triumphs and, with a script by Borat veteran Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel that manages to dilute Sandler’s baser instincts with a real love for Universal monsters, Hotel Transylvania is no Grown Ups-style torture.

Admittedly, Tartakovsky’s madcap, fluid way with the animation does become a little wearing after staying consistently crazy throughout almost every scene. Still, at least it suits the story of Dracula (Sandler)’s struggle to keep his rebellious daughter (Gomez) safe. The Sandler brand, usually aimed at arrested adolescents, fits well within a tale aimed at younger audiences, with its mixture of bodily (or out-of-bodily, in some cases) function gags and a (slightly forced) heartwarming element about a father accepting his daughter’s independence and her finding true love.

Hotel Transylvania could have ended up withering on the dusty ground between the two filmmakers, but is possessed of enough energy and wit to stay alive. Sandler rounds up some of his usual mob, including David Spade, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, blending their comedy styles with the likes of Andy Samberg, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher and even musician CeeLo Green. The result opts for funny rather than scary/silly and only occasionally dips into cliché. Not a complete triumph, then, but hardly a nightmare.

James White

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