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Review: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
07.13.2018
5 10

PLOT: Dracula, in desperate need of a vacation (and love life) is surprised by his daughter with a vacation on a luxury cruise ship. Unbeknownst to them, the captain of the ship is a relative of Drac's arch-enemy Van Helsing, and she aims to do away with him for once and all.

REVIEW: The HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA movies are somewhat difficult to critique. They're essentially designed to be colorful 90-minute babysitters, squarely directed at children, without any interest in thoughtful morals or insight. That's okay, of course. Not every animated film needs to have the heady smarts of a Pixar movie. But as it stands, this particular franchise has thus far been lacking in being able to hold my attention; they suffer from ADD as much as their target audience, throwing a lot of mayhem against the screen and hoping for as many scattered laughs as possible while expending almost no effort in the storytelling department. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3, maybe even more than the previous two installments, is the kind of movie you can barely remember a thing about five minutes after you've left the theater.

In this one, Dracula (Adam Sandler), daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg) and his bevy of friends from his creepy resort decide to take a vacation in the form of a cruise (one that passes through the Bermuda Triangle, natch). That's sort of the end of the plot, save for the subplot involving Drac's romantic interest in the ship's hostess (Kathryn Hahn), who just happens to be a Van Helsing. You won't win any prizes for assuming she's at first determined to kill Drac yet finds herself increasingly attracted to the awkward vampire. Everything else that happens in the movie is filler, and there's plenty of filler to go around, although most of the supporting characters barely make an impression this time around.

The jokes range from childish to lame; I think at this point the HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA team has thoroughly exhausted every possible monster pun while utilizing every last pop song in their library. As mentioned, these movies are designed to keep the little ones distracted for just long enough to give their parents a break, so it's all a frenzied jumble, barely waiting for one punchline to land before moving on to the next one. Parents, be warned: the movie is too loud and chaotic to allow for a nap. Coincidentally (or maybe not), the funniest bit involves werewolf parents Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (Molly Shannon) trying to ditch their noisy kids for five minutes of peace and quiet.

Director Genndy Tartakovsky is certainly capable when it comes to keeping things fast-paced and appropriately wacky; barely a second goes by without some kind of visual gag swirling before your eyes. Once in a while there's something legitimately inspired happening (some of the finale involving underwater monster the Kraken really looks cool, and Van Helsing himself is realized in a pretty interesting way), but more often than not it's all forgettable silliness. This movie has a sequence where the characters dance the Macarena, for the love of god; if you find yourself smiling at the thought of that, then HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 will be your cup of tea.
Source: JoBlo.com

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