The Drac Pack is back once again in Hotel Transylvania 3, only this time there’s hardly anything of note going on at the Hotel (or in Transylvania for that matter)! For better or worse, this at least sets this outing apart from the previous films, expanding the monster world considerably by escaping the confines of the titular Hotel.
The aforementioned world is explored thusly, when the creepy heroes embark on a pleasure cruise for monsters. Along the way, Dracula (Adam Sandler) finds himself falling in love with the ship’s charismatic captain, Erika (Kathryn Hahn), who secretly happens to be non-other then a relation of the great monster hunter Van Helsing. Cue lots of traps, secret plots and scheming, as she sets about exacting her revenge on Dracula.
Director Genndy Tartakovsky once again brings his trademark energetic style to proceedings, injecting every fibre of the film with vibrant, colourful liveliness, never once letting a second pass without a gag or some slapstick taking up screen time. Sadly, not much of it is particularly funny. A few jokes and rare moments of wit slip through, but not enough to warrant calling the film a comedy.
From the moment it starts, Hotel Transylvania 3 refuses to stop and take stock, powering through every single beat at breakneck speed. The result is great for kids possessed of a short attention span, but wearing for anyone over the age of 9-years old. Every tiny character movement is so over-exaggerated and rapid, it’s nauseating. The design and animation is fluid and impressive, but everything powers along at a million-miles per hour, so there’s little opportunity to actually stop and appreciate any of it. Worst of all, the whole emotional crux of the story is barely exploited, ultimately falling flat and dovetailing into sappy, easy-get-out territory.
The annoying thing about Hotel Transylvania 3 (and the franchise as a whole) is the sheer potential it wastes. Tartakovsky, the cast and the animation team are more then capable of creating something great for kids and adults alike, but three movies in, they’re all still plumping for the usual lazy references, awkward dialogue, uninspiring slapstick and unsophisticated gags.
Of course, it’s passable entertainment for your little ones, and that’s what ultimately matters (even if the quality of the final film falls short by a mile). The Blu-Ray comes packed with lots of extra karaoke sing-along features, animated shorts, and activities to keep them entertained, as well as a filmmaker’s commentary if your child is that way inclined. It’s at least enough to keep them quiet and fulfilled for a few hours.
As a parent though, you’ll certainly need a vacation after watching the film and the extras for the dozenth time!
Dir: Genndy Tartakovsky
Prd: Michelle Murdocca
Scr: Genndy Tartakovsky, Michael McCullers
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Buscemi, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh
Run time: 97 mins
Hotel Transylvania 3 is out Nov 19th on DVD and Blu-Ray