American films

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation film review – fun for kids but animated sequel is short on story

Starring the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Kathryn Hahn, the third film in the Hotel Transylvania series is still not as good as the first but features top-notch animation and will keep the children entertained

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 7:02am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 7:01am

3/5 stars

Drac’s back – but it’s not really been worth the wait. The zippy first instalment of the animated Hotel Transylvania series was a laugh, as it lampooned monster movie clichés to good effect. Part two, however, was a bit of a misfire, while A Monster Vacation doesn’t do the original idea justice either, forgoing any witty comments on monsterhood for a lazy story about messing around on a cruise ship.

Still, the quick-fire animation is top-notch, young kids will find it a hoot, and their parents will not be too bored.

The titular hotel is a Fawlty Towers-like residence established by Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) so that monsters can live normal lives away from their human persecutors. Part three has the Count, his Goth-like daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and the entire crew of monsters take a holiday on a crazy cruise ship to “reconnect” with each other.

Dracula falls in love with the ship’s energetic female captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). But unlucky for Drac, Ericka is a descendant of the fearless vampire hunter Van Helsing, and has murder rather than romance on her mind.

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A Monster Vacation is short on story, but not devoid of imagination. The idea of setting the monster cruise in the deadly Bermuda Triangle is clever, and scenes on the ship, including a mass of disciplined fish waiters in bow ties, are nicely rendered.

The animation is fast, springy and angular, and feels like a less-violent update of the frantic Looney Tunes classic cartoons. But the key sequence of a musical battle in the deep pales in comparison with the Bowie-esque giant crab scene in Disney’s Moana .

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation opens on August 16

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