Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation — This franchise finale is simplistic, intermittently goofy

Mihir Fadnavis

Jul,20 2018 14:23:28 IST

2.5/5

One does not expect much from the third installment of a lightweight franchise that exists merely to be a passable fun time. Sticking to the formula, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is exactly what you expect it to be – simplistic to a fault, intermittently goofy and ultimately serviceable ‘cartoony’ content to keep your kids distracted.

A still from Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. YouTube

A still from Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. YouTube

In the hands of animation legend Genndy Tartakovky, this is a franchise that does not seem to be afraid of any possible fatigue. It is also an odd mixture of two disparate things – very high quality and energetic animation storytelling packaged in a painfully run-of-the-mill voice acting and unspectacular comedy.

Those who have followed this series will probably find part three a fun diversion, but even if you have not seen the first two movies, you could still settle comfortably in this film. Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) is now overworked and exhausted. His daughter (Selena Gomez) gets an idea to plan a cruise vacay with the gang of Frank (Kevin James), Griffin (David Spade), Murray (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wayne (Steve Buscemi). During the holiday, Count falls in love with Erika (Kathryn Hahn) who turns out to be the daughter of Van Helsing – and if you know the equation between Helsing and Dracula, you would find that hilarious.

Very early into the plot setup, we are treated with the usual string of sight gags, fart jokes, and the Sandler voice to keep things afloat. There is a lot more manic energy in this film compared to the first two. The most hilarious section is Helsing continually, and unsuccessfully, attempts to hunt his arch nemesis Dracula. The shift from the dark mansion from the earlier film to a summer cruise is a nice change, and Tartakovsky and his writers find enough ways to keep throwing in silly stuff at us – including a Macarena homage. It is also a very beautiful looking movie, as Tartakovsky has previous demonstrated his craft in better works of his, like Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack.  

On the downside, there is little to truly cherish about this film. There are dozens of monsters in this movie, and ideally this should be the best thing ever, but there is a strange lack of uniqueness here. Especially if you have seen the first two movies, the novelty of foul creatures doing stupid things has worn off. So if you are in for a movie that makes you laugh because garlic does not kill vampires, it gives them diarrhea instead, by all means watch this film. It is not the best series ender, but it is not boring either. It is perfectly average, and sure to have a shelf life on DVD and streaming because the kids are going to love the silliness in it.

On a side note, it is painful to grasp that Tartakovsky was supposed to make a Popeye film – whose test footage looked amazing. But instead, he is stuck making these Hotel Transylvania movies to pay his rent. Hollywood has still not given him the chance to really flex his unconventional muscles. Hopefully, that will change now that this beastly trilogy is out of his way.

Updated Date: Jul 20, 2018 14:23 PM