Animation Comedy

Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ is Simple but Enjoyable

July 11, 2018Ferdosa Abdi

If you've enjoyed the Hotel Transylvania franchise thus far, there's no reason for you to not to adore this latest entry, which reunites moviegoers with their favorite family of quirky, mismatched monsters, led by the not-so-scary Count Dracula (Adam Sandler).

After dedicating his life to raising his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), helping her find her zing (read: a monster's soulmate), and helping her settle down with her family, it seems Dracula has lost sight of taking care of himself. Mavis, on the other hand, now more like her father than ever, is determined to give Dracula and her own family (Andy Samberg and Asher Blinkoff) the summer vacation they deserve. She surprises everyone with a cruise trip, which is where we meet Captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn).

It's on-board this cruise that Dracula and his family and friends, including Frank (Kevin James) and Murray (Keegan-Michael Key), deal with all sorts of hijinks. Dracula lets loose and must come to terms with a sudden zing; werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and his wife Wanda (Molly Shannon) are burdened by their litter of pups; and Blobby, well, is just Blobby. Along the way, we are also treated to a range of monsters and mythical beings that are sprinkled throughout the movie, and if you are a fan of that stuff you will get a real kick out of it.

Genndy Tartakovsky is back as director, and the longtime animator works his magic again. The film's visual style is very much his own, evoking some of his previous work, like Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. However, for as good as the animation is, the script is far too simple and childish. This is the first time Tartakovsky has taken up the screenwriting duties, joined by co-writer Michael McCullers. And while this series has always catered to younger audiences, the writing is a tad bit more juvenile than the first two entries. The story is comprised of joke-centric mini-vignettes, meaning that once the joke lands, the movie then moves on to another setup, and so on and so on it goes. Suffice to say, the result lacks any real depth, but that's okay.

Is Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation thoroughly silly and childish? Yes, yes it is. However, adults — and children, especially — will still find plenty to enjoy here. This is a fun and adorable film that will have you laughing and smiling from beginning to end. After all, it's the summer; we are all trying to have a good time, and the animation and music alone will keep you energized and make you forget the sweltering heat that you've entered an air-conditioned theater to escape from.

Ultimately, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is a family movie that, at its heart, has a simple message that everyone can relate to. It doesn't matter what makes you different; embrace who you are, and those who are meant to be in your life will too.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation releases July 13th, 2018 from Sony Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG for some action and rude humor. Its runtime is 1 hr. 37 min.

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