Review: Monster Family 2 (2021)

Monster Family 2 (2021)

Directed by: Holger Tappe | 103 minutes | animation, comedy | Dutch voice cast: Noa Zwan, Sonny van Utteren, Leo Richardson, Joost Claes, Fé van Kessel, Peggy Vrijens, Has Drijver, Xander Gallois, Liesbeth de Wolf

Admittedly, the German writer David Safier certainly dares to make original choices. Last year, for example, he published a detective novel in which the leading role is played by none other than Angela Merkel, the recently retired Chancellor who solves murders like a true Miss Marple in the hamlet of Klein Freudenstadt. She is helped by her other-worldly but extremely smart husband Joachim Sauer, bodyguard Mike and pug Putin (!). The German public liked the novel, of which a second part has now been published, and rewarded Safier with the MIMI, a prize comparable to our Gouden Strop for best exciting novel, but then awarded by the readers instead of fellow authors. . Sapphier is a multi-talent, having previously written film and TV screenplays, including the critically acclaimed ‘Berlin, Berlin’, and the children’s book ‘Happy Family’, about a dysfunctional family who is thrown into monsters by a witch during a costume party. changes and in that capacity experiences all kinds of adventures. Under the title ‘Monster Family’ (2017), Safier’s book was made into a film by Ambient Entertainment. Despite the fact that the film was slammed by the press and the public was barely warm to it (the proceeds were about six million dollars less than the cost of making the film), a follow-up film was released four years later with the title ‘ Monster Family 2: Nobody’s Perfect’ (2021).

This second film, again directed by Holger Tappe, takes place about a year after the events of part one. The Wensbot family still struggles with their various shortcomings. Son Max is still the bully of his class, who is bullied because of his clumsiness and lack of height. His teenage sister Faye has a huge inferiority complex and believes that everyone has a talent for something, except her. Mother Emma tries to help her children, but her wise advice is disregarded and the selfish father Frank seems especially annoyed that his happiness at a new job is spoiled by the fuss around his children. Fortunately, there is good news too: Baba Yaga, the witch who has been embraced as a kind of surrogate grandmother for the Wishbones since the events of the first film, is getting married to the hunchbacked butler Renfield. But the very young monster hunter Mila Starr, daughter of the immensely rich and brilliant couple Marlene and Maddox Starr, wants to put a stop to that. The Wishbones are tasked with saving their new-fangled grandma and grandpa, and the only way to do it is to turn into monsters again. And so mother becomes a vampire again, father takes on the role of Frankenstein, Faye changes into the beautiful mummy and Max can indulge himself as a restless werewolf. Aided by the three bats they keep as pets (were they not actually Dracula’s?), they travel the world, encounter various “colleague” monsters and discover that no one is perfect and that if you learn to embrace your flaws you can find true happiness.

In the first film Count Dracula still had a prominent role, here he plays a modest supporting role and it is the Wensbot family that takes the lead. Instead, a series of other famous monsters are staged, including Yeti (terrible snowman), Loch Ness and King Kong. Although the story has a different approach, this second film offers more of the same. Safier, who wrote the screenplay himself and was helped by, among others, Abraham Katz, made the plot unnecessarily complex and the characters are still not really sympathetic. In addition, although the animations in this Anglo-German co-production are colorful, they are often quite wooden; it seems that the picture and sound are not in sync at all. That makes the film a messy whole. And that while there is quite potential in ‘Monster Family 2’. The impressive procession of actors that showed up in the first film to provide a character with the voice, also contributed to this second part. So even now we hear people like Emily Watson, Nick Frost, Jason Isaacs, Jessica Brown Findlay and Catherine Tate, but for all the talent involved, they also fail to take ‘Monster Family 2’ to the next level. .

Because whether it is the fact that ideas were stolen from all kinds of other (better) films for this film, the animation does not meet our (high) standard, the characters do not want to come to life and the story is unnecessarily complicated and humorless. is; “Monster Family 2” isn’t an improvement over its predecessor. This movie isn’t much worse either. But if the soundtrack full of 80’s classics turns out to be the pinnacle of the film, then that makes you think…

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