Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Dracula and his monster pals are back, and this time they’re getting away from it all on a tropical cruise.
Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) is starting to yearn for romance, and his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) decides to take the entire gang from the hotel for a vacation, to help ease Drac’s nerves. They board a cruise ship in the Bermuda Triangle, whose captain is a human woman named Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). Dracula immediately falls in love with her. Little does he know, however, that Ericka is the great-granddaughter of his old enemy, Prof. Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan). The elder Van Helsing is still alive in the form of a rudimentary cyborg, and along with Ericka he plans to fulfill his family’s age-old feud with monsters by killing off the entire Hotel Transylvania crew. Drac is too lovesick to catch on to Ericka’s ulterior motives, and most of her plans to kill are inadvertently foiled in comedic ways. She still has a trick up her sleeve to unleash the Kraken (Joe Jonas) to wreak doomsday on the monsters. Who will win?
Hotel Transylvania 3 is an enjoyable addition to the animated monster comedy series. It does not raise the bar very high above the quality of the first two films, but it is still entertaining and one of the better animated sequels out there. The film’s comic timing is still laser sharp, and many of the jokes hit bull’s-eye. The voice acting contributes much of the charm to the characters and their interactions. The character designs and facial expressions are appealingly cartoony. And the landscapes are as good as any CGI film of recent years.
The only real downside in my eyes is that the film never stands still. The characters are always moving, and there are times when the onslaught of jokes start to feel overwhelming. Luckily, there were only a few instances where I truly felt tired of the nonstop comedy. There are thankfully moments of sentimentality and human emotion to balance out the comedy, albeit not as engagingly as in, say, the better Pixar films.
If you enjoyed the previous Hotel Transylvania films, this will likely be up your alley. If you’re not a fan of this franchise, then this probably won’t change your mind. But for me, this was definitely a summer cruise worth taking.