Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation review
It's interesting to think that in a time where horror movies are receiving more attention then ever, the Universal classic monsters seem to have a hard time finding their place in a new era. People still remember Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein monster, but can't seem to recall the more modern adaptations. Universal has tried to relaunch them with Dracula: Untoldand The Mummywith Tom Cruise, but failed with audiences and critics. So where are these guys going to go? Oddly enough, the one franchise that does seem to give them acclaimed attention is the animated Hotel Transylvania.
While not scary, the animated franchise has been able to take a lot of comedic advantage of the characters and their voice actors. Especially with Adam Sandler as Dracula, who in turn, does make for a relatable dad. It helps too that director Genndy Tartakovsky, already experienced in Cartoon Network shows like Dexter's Laboratoryand Samurai Jack, gives the movies such a fast-paced style that feels like Looney Tunes. With me, I found the movies likable enough that while good, their nothing great. So let's see if Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacationcan break that mold.
After the previous movie, Dracula (played by Adam Sandler) is running the hotel with daughter Mavis (played by Selina Gomez) and her husband Johnny (played by Andy Samberg). While she and several monsters are happy, Dracula has been feeling lonely and had admitted he wouldn't mind trying to meet someone else. While Mavis is unaware, she simply assumes her father is overworked. She arranges a family vacation for a cruise exclusive for monsters. Coming along is the Frankenstein monster (played by Kevin James), his bride Eunice (played by Fran Drescher), the Invisible Man (played by David Spade), a werewolf Wayne (played by Steve Buscemi), his wife Wanda (played by Molly Shannon), the Mummy Murry (played by Keegan-Michael Key), the other hotel guests, and Dracula's father Vlad (played by Mel Brooks).
While reluctant to go on vacation (jokingly referred to as a "hotel on the water"), Dracula feels a spark for the ship's captain Erica (played by Kathryn Hahn). The other monsters try to encourage him to date, even if he doesn't want to tell his daughter yet. What he doesn't know is that Erica is the great granddaughter of Van Helsing (played by Jim Gaffigan). They are both plotting to eliminate the monsters while Dracula is still in love.
As I said, the Hotel Transylvaniaseries has been inoffensive and fine for what it was. Hotel Transylvania 3is about the same, but perhaps with some points taken off. Not that this is a bad movie. In fact, the audience I saw this with was laughing as I was. I do think that like a lot of series, they start to have story troubles. In this case, along with the monsters, Dracula's extended family, and Mavis' family, there may be one too many characters. There are a lot of storylines going on this cruse. Some of them, like Dracula and his pursuit of the captain, the werewolves and them having free time are really funny. Others, like Mavis' son hiding his dog go nowhere and drags on.
As far as character numbers are, the voice acting still proves to be top notch with Sandler finding the right balance for his goofy voice and more sentimental scenes. Though not as much before, each monster do get their turns to lay out a joke. Even if it doesn't land, the movie's tone is so fast, that it'll immediately go to the next.
The best element about the Hotel Transylvaniaseries is the animation. It continues to have the dimension the of computer age while keeping the exaggerated stretch of the hand drawn style. Though because this is on a cruise, the colors seem brighter and less gothic, making this more kid friendly. I can understand that decision, even though I think more creativity could have been put into the ship. With Dracula's castle, you have the creepy imagery. With this, while a nice boat, seems like any other Carnival or Royal Caribbean ship. I doubt people will have a problem with this, but when I think monsters on a boat, it would have been interesting to see how much further the designs could have gone.
I'll give this three and a half Frankenstein bolts out of five. Children and their parents will find a lot to like. Will they enjoy it as much as before? Probably. It's hard for me to be enthusiastic or dishearted by this, but then again, I've never taken this in high regard. Give it a watch and see this Drac's Pack is still fun to follow.