Eye-catching animation and non-stop jokes make this animated monster movie a lot more fun than we expect. It's packed with gross-out gags that will keep kids laughing, plus clever character-based humour for the grown-ups. And it also features one of the funniest performances in recent memory from Sandler, perhaps because we can't see him on-screen.
He provides the voice for Dracula who, after his wife died, built a secret hotel where monsters could escape from human contact. But a century later his daughter Mavis (Gomez) is about to turn 118 and wants to go out and explore the world, even though Dracula has always warned her that humans are evil. As the family friends gather for her birthday, human backpacker Jonathan (Samberg) haplessly wanders into the hotel. And since Dracula doesn't want anyone to think he's been lying about humans all this time, he has to think fast, passing Jonathan off as a member of the Frankenstein family who's here to plan Mavis' party. But in talking with Jonathan, Mavis becomes even more intrigued by the world outside the castle.
The film's tone is hugely livened up by the guests at this party, including Frankenstein (James), Wayne (Buscemi) the wolf, Griffin (Spade) the invisible man and Murray (Green) the mummy. Each of them has marriage and family issues of their own that stir into the general mayhem, adding throwaway sight-gags and rude one-liners in every scene. With so much coming at us, some things are bound to make us laugh. And while the kids will love the poo and fart jokes, older audiences will enjoy a witty jab at Twilight and a hilariously grim bingo game.
Thankfully, the script also doesn't lay on its heartwarming message too heavily. There is a bit of serious subtext in the generational issues, most notably looking at the danger of trying to control your kids, but this is really a movie about constant wackiness. So even if it looks a bit plasticky, and if some of the characters are rather corny, the vocal cast injects plenty of personality into each role, while the animators keep everything colourful and amusingly kinetic.
Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Friday 28th September 2012
Box Office USA: $148.3M
Box Office Worldwide: $346M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Fresh: 62 Rotten: 76
IMDB: 7.1 / 10
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Producer: Michelle Murdocca
Screenwriter: Peter Baynham, Robert Smigel
Starring: Adam Sandler as Dracula (voice), Steve Buscemi as Wayne (voice), David Spade as Griffin - The Invisible Man (voice), Kevin James as Frank / Frankenstein (voice), Selena Gomez as Mavis (voice), Andy Samberg as Jonathan (voice), Fran Drescher as Eunice (voice), Molly Shannon as Wanda (voice), Cee Lo Green as Murray the Mummy (voice), Jon Lovitz as Quasimodo (voice), Rick Kavanian as Dracula (German voice), Elyas M’Barek as Jonathan (German voice), Josefine Preuß as Mavis (German voice)
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