Abandon ship! Hotel Transylvania 3 review by Rashid Irani
It should have been easy enough to manufacture funny escapades involving a band of merry monsters on a luxury cruise. Instead, Hotel Transylvania 3 feels tiresome, at least for the adults in the audience.
…A Monster Vacation starts with Count Dracula (voiced once again by Adam Sandler) feeling lonely and unloved. Exhausted by the stresses of running his monster hotel, he and his ghoulish pals decide to take a cruise through the Bermuda Triangle.
As their ship docks at Atlantis, its first port of call, the long-widowed lord of the vampires falls in love with the captain (dubbed in purr-perfect tones by Kathryn Hahn). They ‘zing’ pretty successfully for a while, until it turns out the woman of his dreams is a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), Dracula’s human archrival hell-bent on exterminating all of monster-kind.
Director Genndy Tartakovsky, who also helmed the first two films, fails to invoke any of the elements of joy and surprise that made the first Hotel Transylvania so enchanting. Instead, he serves up wearisome sight gags and an assortment of underdeveloped subplots. Even the usually charming Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and gelatinous Blobby fall flat.
The glossy production design and vibrant colours, paired with the easy-to-follow plot and familiar characters, will likely keep the younger children content. But for the rest, the film reeks of déjà vu. The attempts at messages of peaceful co-existence are groan-inducing.
It’s time to drive a stake through the heart of this franchise; ensure it doesn’t try to come to life a fourth time.