The Hotel Transylvania franchise has been one of the best animated franchises of recent years. Their humour, colourful animation, and engaging characters are a joy to behold. However, what really worked well with these movies was the fact they were released and set during Halloween. That break from Halloween to take a summer vacation is problematic. We all know Adam Sandler likes to go on holiday in his movies and somehow he’s managed to get his animated self one as well.
Mavis (Selena Gomez), sensing her dad needs a break, books a monster cruise for Dracula (Sandler) and his buddies — a who’s who of classic movie monsters that includes Frankenstein (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), and even Vlad himself (Mel Brooks). Nobody knows that the cruise is actually a trap set by the nefarious Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) and his daughter Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), but matters are complicated when Dracula falls in love with the daughter of the man secretly trying to destroy him.
The characters have always been the strongest aspect of these movies. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the third instalment. There are so many monsters to count, with plenty of low-key monsters cropping up, as well as old favourites who are the centre-piece of the movie. The fish-out-of-water characters and fresh setting make for a visually interesting movie.
Sandler’s performance is often irritating as he constantly makes this overused, goofy sound whenever he’s around Ericka. Most of the ensemble get their moments to shine. Frankenstein gambles, the Werewolves get away from their children, and Spade’s Invisible Man actually has some good comedy. Some of the cast do get sidelined though, Murray the Mummy doesn’t have much to do and even Mavis and Johnny didn’t seem to have particularly significant roles in the film.
Kids will certainly love this movie. Adults, on the other hand, will be split. Because while the humour can be funny at times, the dull and familiar plot will bore the majority of movie-goers. For it’s swift 97 minute runtime it does the job. It is by no means on Incredibles 2 level but it’s still a decent movie with some good laughs and entertaining characters. Its visual style is always nice to sit through and even though he’s slightly annoying, this is still a rare example (in the last decade), of a good Adam Sandler film.