Review: Hotel Transylvania 3 – Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)


Hotel Transylvania 3 – Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)

Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky | 97 minutes | animation, comedy | Dutch voice cast: Charly Luske, Liza Sips, Ferry Doedens, Tony Neef, Fernando Halman, Arjan Ederveen, Paul Groot, Ilse Warringa, Tygo Gernandt, Jan Versteegh | Original voice cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Jim Gaffigan, Kathryn Hahn, Asher Blinkoff, Chris Parnell, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen, Mel Brooks, Aaron LaPlante, Michelle Murdocca, Genndy Tartakovsky, Joyce Arrastia, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Libby Thomas Dickey

The fans of the classic Dracula movies were already waiting for him; when does monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing, who has made it his life’s work to hunt Count Dracula, show up in the animated film series ‘Hotel Transylvania’? In the first and second part – from 2012 and 2015 respectively – the old scientist, originally from the Netherlands, was nowhere to be seen, but in part three his fans are catered for. ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ (‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’) (2018) opens with a prologue from 1897. Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) and his monster friends, disguised as humans, travel by train to Budapest. Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) also shows up on the train, armed with a proton pack that wouldn’t look out of place in ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984), in search of his nemesis Dracula. He chases the monsters up to the roof with his energy weapon, but Dracula and his friends manage to outsmart Van Helsing, as always. No wonder Van Helsing gets very frustrated, because he must and will destroy Dracula…

Fast forward to the present tense. Hotel Transylvania is still running at full capacity and Dracula is busy giving others a nice holiday. His daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) thinks it’s good if her father takes a break himself and she books a special monster cruise for the whole party. She hopes that on board the ship, in a relaxed atmosphere, he might meet a nice woman. Because Dracula is pretty lonely, despite all those friends around him. Her wish is fulfilled quite quickly, because as soon as Dracula and his friends enter the cruise ship The Legacy and he meets the attractive Captain Erika (Kathryn Hahn), he falls into a swoon. He can no longer utter a normal sentence and becomes completely captivated by Erika. What he does not know is that she is the great-granddaughter of Van Helsing, who pulls the strings on the lower deck of the ship in a completely mechanized state (otherwise he would have been dead as a human being for a long time). Together they want to destroy all the monsters on the boat. They head for the lost city of Atlantis, where Van Helsing believes he can find a secret weapon. However, Erika is impatient and hopes to kill Dracula before then.

Like its two predecessors, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ is also directed by Russian-American animator Genndy Tartakovsky, known for, among other things, the Cartoon Network cartoon series ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’. He also co-wrote the screenplay this time around and was reportedly inspired by a family vacation that didn’t quite go as planned. He was also inspired by the series of comedy films under the title ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, with Chevy Chase in the lead role. Tartakovsky co-wrote the screenplay with Michael McCullers (‘The Boss Baby’, 2017). As is often the case with sequels, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ is more of the same: Dracula’s monster friends lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of visual jokes, so part three is full of them again. Especially the jokes surrounding Blobby – who willingly takes the attacks intended for ‘Draac’ – and the werewolf couple Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (Molly Shannon) and their countless descendants. The story itself is wafer thin and intertwined with moralistic messages about true love; the film therefore relies mainly on the animations and the visual jokes, which are of the same level as the two earlier ‘Hotel Transylvania’ films.

This third film brings little new under the sun, except for two new characters and a different setting. This energetic and colorful animation film offers a lot of laughs for the young target group and also for the parents there are quite a few witticisms in it. For the sake of convenience, we can just ignore the fact that the story is little, because ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ offers enough entertainment for the whole family.

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