Anyone can guess what to expect when walking into Hotel Transylvania. The movie boasts monsters and mayhem in animated form but a quick read over the synopsis will give you the impression this would generally be a direct-to-DVD release if not for the cast involved. Seeing Adam Sandler listed as the divergent Count Dracula will inevitably give you a sense of hope. A hope for our long wait to be over. A hope for a genuinely funny Adam Sandler movie to be released again within our lifetimes. This movie will absolutely make you laugh throughout your entire movie-going experience but, it is Andy Samberg that makes this flick worth all the while.
In short, Hotel Transylvania is Monster Mash in movie form. After the death of his wife, Dracula (Adam Sandler) becomes compelled to create a safe-haven for all monster-kind but most importantly, for his baby child, Mavis. He builds a castle deep within Transylvania, guarded by haunted forests, foggy cemeteries and a serious hoard of the undead who seemed to be modeled after Plants vs. Zombies. The castle serves as a vacation spot for all creatures, giant insects, trolls and any other scary thing that goes bump in the night. Over a century later, it comes time to celebrate Mavis’ 118th birthday, which also signifies her becoming a woman and being ready to enter the world by her lonesome. An act the Count plans on making sure never happens but when goofy human, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), stumbles upon the sanctuary, he causes some serious deviations from the plan.
The cast for this movie is a comedy goldmine. Kevin James (King Of Queens, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) plays the big-hearted Frankenstein accompanied by his grotesque wife, Eunice played by Fran Drescher. David Spade (Black Sheep, Tommy Boy) plays the ginger Invisible Man, Griffin, primarily seen as a simple pair of floating spectacles throughout the movie. CeeLo Green plays Murray the Mummy whose voice was surprisingly perfect for the part. My favorite Monster casting though was Steve Buscemi. He played the woebegone Werewolf, Wayne and played it very well. The Wolfman is riddled with distress due to having an abundance of pups. Being a father to so many seems to have taken a toll on his self-worth and motivation. He proves to be the absolute funniest character in the film because you are simply laughing at his pain and anguish and seeing him handle the pups is amusing to say the least.
In my opinion, Andy Samberg as the goofy human, Jonathan, was by far the best equipped character comedically. His free spirit and valley guy attitude was charming at times but all of his quips, banter and badinage were welcomed additions to this gag reel. Without Samberg’s repartee, the film would just seem like celebrities at a Halloween party trying their best to be believable. Adam Sandler’s Dracula impression will rival that of your uncle, maybe, but otherwise, he missed the mark. With a mostly hilarious cast, I will give Hotel Transylvania 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.