Hotel Transylvania 3
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – A Dull Story Stuffed Into A Predictable Screenplay
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The third film in the franchise being directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation has heaps of familiarity but fares badly when it comes to freshness and imagination. The ‘more of the same’ formula effortlessly worked for the first two films. Unfortunately, the third one, though not tiresome, falls flat with repetitive plot points that seem far from being funny or entertaining. But if you’re wondering if your child will enjoy it, the film has all the elements to make it fun and comforting for children below age ten who come merely to see their favorite monsters bounce around in joy.
Unable to bear seeing her father, the Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) in a gloomy state, Mavis (Selena Gomez) books him a fun monster cruise along with his best buds. Initially, her plan sails along smoothly. But soon, Dracula finds himself falling head over heels in love with Erika (Kathryn Hahn), the captain of the ship. Matters get all the more complicated when the gang discovers that Erika is the great grand-daughter of Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) and has been sent on a mission to kill Dracula. Whether or not love transcends this mission of hers forms the crux of the story.
The third installment in the Hotel Transylvania franchise has everything you expect of a children’s summer film. But considering the witty jokes and imaginative character design of the first two installments, you expect more from this film. In the end, it lets you down by being uninspiring and unimaginative. Mavis and her husband Johnny have almost nothing to do in the film. Their love is portrayed in quite a cliched manner. Most of the characters that you love make a comeback but sadly, the focus is never on them. The wafer-thin plot tries to be an out and out romantic comedy involving Dracula and Erika stuffing the screenplay with too many elements that eventually brings the tale down.
Not all animated children’s films need to have a message, but the last thing a film should do is embed a wrong message that can easily sink into the minds of a vulnerable audience. Sadly, Hotel Transylvania 3 does this through its main characters. It tries to tell you that you only get one chance at love. It also goes on to imply that no matter what happens, one should pursue that love. Sure, one might wonder why anyone goes looking for logic in such films. But if you think about it, any experience children have, especially involving their favorite characters stand by in their minds far too long in comparison to adults. So, not having a moral story is completely okay. But having a misleading one can lead to false impressions. Directors must practice more caution when it comes to films that appeal to children.
Furthermore, the film tries to recycle its own unique plot twists from the first two installments. For one, it tries to bring in the monster in love with a human twist in the third installment even though it was thoroughly explored in the first film. Secondly, the plot is almost always focused on Dracula. The other supporting characters like Blob, Mavis and Vlad are left in the dark leaving Dracula the spotlight. This causes the story to feel monotonous. What could’ve been an exciting adventure at sea, is reduced to an unoriginal and conventional romantic comedy without the quirks and involvement of other key characters.
As Count Dracula, Adam Sandler gives us more of the same. This isn’t necessarily bad at all times. In the beginning, his wisecracks do light up the scene but gradually, the nuances and comedy of his character begin to feel repetitive. Other actors including Selena Gomez and Kathryn Hahn have very little to do in the film.
The original score could’ve been better. The motion graphics of most of these characters are executed spotlessly but their design could’ve used much more imagination and color. Visually, Hotel Transylvania 3 is good. But with a little more innovation it could’ve been great.
On the whole, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is just as bland as its title. This summer entertainer is not torturous but it isn’t the best either.