When you don’t know what to do, go on vacation.
Synopsis: In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind. (Sony Pictures)
Starring:Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and Andy Samberg
Writers: Genndy Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Rating: G (Canada)/PG (United States)
Running Time: 97mins
When it seemed like 2 Hotel Transylvania films were enough, here comes another one. The first two appeared to pretty much do what they could with the premise of making classic monsters kid-friendly and playing them off of each other for 90ish minutes at a time, connected by a family story involving Dracula (Sandler), his daughter Mavis (Gomez), and her husband Johnny (Samberg). While it looked like there wasn’t many more places for the filmmakers to go, they chose to send all the characters on vacation, more specifically a cruise, but did they really have to?
When comparing this film to the previous two, Dracula said it best when he said that the boat is the same as the hotel but on the water. So despite the location change, this film is more or less the same as the first two. A common trend with trailers is that they reveal the majority of the story before viewers get the chance to see the film. This was yet again the case here as most of the story was shown in the film’s many trailers. However, figuring the film out won’t be much of a stretch because of its derivative nature. Not only is it derivative of the first two films, as mentioned, it is also derivative of other children’s films.
Regardless of the story, there were still plenty of fun moments to be had here. The film gave Dracula and the other monsters, Frank (Kevin James), Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Griffin (David Spade), and Murray (Keegan-Michael Key), a fun backstory that would obviously come into effect later on. To be honest, that story was more fun than the actual story here. There were plenty of monster moments to be had here but just like the previous film, the focus here was more on the relationship between Dracula and Mavis. Their relationship treaded familiar ground though was put to the test once Dracula begins to fall in love with a woman named Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) the captain of the cruise ship.
The same sense of humor from the first two continued here, playing all the monsters off of each other within this over the top film world, but it simply did not work as well this time around since it was just more of the same and has become repetitive to watch. There were still some laughs, however, the humor missed more than hit the target. Though the level of animation here definitely wasn’t close to the powerhouses in the industry, it was still better than average with plenty of color and more detail with its characters and environments as well as improved character animations.
The great voice acting has been the highlight of the series so far and this was still the case here. The writing was good with simple dialog which should entertain most children and some adults. The acting brought this dialog to life in a way that would probably not work as well if it came from anyone else. Sandler as Dracula continues to be the standout as it sounded like he was having a blast here with Dracula’s mannerisms matching the Sandler of old.
Overall, this was a decent animated film with above average animation and an unnecessary, derivative, and predictable story that should provide enough laughs and quirkiness to keep most viewers entertained thanks to some great voice acting but the series as a whole is starting to get old.