Hotel Transylvania 3
Time Out says
Fresh blood is needed for a franchise that's running short on laughs and story.
After three movies, the most likeable thing about the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ series remains its madcap Tex Avery-ish animation. Compared to Pixar or Studio Ghibli, it’s not especially pretty, but director Genndy Tartakovsky’s designs have personality and energy. The script for this third outing, though, sadly lacks both. It often feels driven by a need to reach a respectable running time, rather than a desire to tell a story.
Keeping the hotel theme going requires a stretch, with Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his family off on holiday on a cruise ship (a ‘hotel on water’). When he’s not moonbathing or grousing about how he’d rather be at home, Drac is falling in love with the ship’s captain (Kathryn Hahn). She, unbeknownst to him, is trying to kill him: she’s a descendant of the Van Helsing line of vampire hunters.
There are some fun sequences, especially an opening summation of the ongoing feud between the Van Helsings and the monsters, but too often the film’s random skits feel like padding to make up for an uninspired, bare-bones plot. Supporting characters – Frankenstein (Kevin James), The Invisible Man (David Spade) and Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) – hardly figure, with barely more than a few minutes of screen time each.
Visually, it stands out from the pack, doing its own weird, freaky thing, but in terms of actual ideas and laughs ‘Hotel Transylvania’ is lagging far behind the output of other animation studios. If it ever had any, this series has really lost its bite.
Cast and crew