By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

Much like the previous entries in this animated film franchise, Hotel Transylvania 3 offers its audiences delightful humor without any heavy or deep messages, and that’s fine.  These films are mostly geared toward the younger members of the family, but there is still enough material for the adults to enjoy as well.  There really isn’t much to say about this film or any other installment of this series.  Genndy Tartakovski’s world of lovable monsters delivers amiable and benign fun, and that’s enough to keep families entertained at a matinee trip to the cinema.

Not long after the events of the previous film, Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his friends and family are overdue for a vacation.  Drac’s loving daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) decides to surprise her father and crew with a much needed cruise to the Bermuda Triangle.  The cruise, which is tailored for monsters, proves to be an enjoyable and relaxing experience for everyone, but something unexpected happens when Dracula meets the ship’s captain, a charming and attractive lady named Ericka (Kathryn Hahn).  After first laying eyes on the lovely captain, Dracula falls hard, but doesn’t really know how to handle these feelings.  It has been a very long time since he lost his beloved wife and he doesn’t know how Mavis will take this new development.  During the rest of the trip, Dracula attempts to discretely pursue Ericka; however, the cruise captain has other things in mind for the love sick vampire.

Written and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky who co-wrote the film with Michael McCullers, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation has much heart and humor, but not a lot else going for it.  The whole experience is enjoyable, but if one expects something more compelling, dramatic and intelligent, this isn’t that movie.  Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had fun with these movies, and each installment offers something a little different.  However, they have yet to accomplish the greatness and power that other animated films do.

This franchise has always had good voice talents and this one is no exception.  In addition to returning cast members Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, and Mel Brooks reprise their roles from the previous movies.  New members Kathryn Hahn (Ericka) and Jim Gaffigan (Abraham van Helsing) breathe new life into their new characters and offer more great comic timing and personality to the franchise.

And to say that this film offers more of the same wouldn’t be completely fair.  Ther movie might have the same level of filmmaking and storytelling as its previous installments, but at least, each one has a different story to tell.  I have to admit that I actually enjoy these characters and this movie universe and as long as the filmmakers continue to keep it at least the same level, I will be happy to support it.


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