In recent years we’ve seen a number of colourful animated franchises release monotonous wafer-thin sequels guaranteed to get the till ringing – and this third Hotel Transylvania outing is no different.
Following in the vein of Ice Age 5: Collision Course, this second sequel Summer Vacation offers nothing more than lightweight entertainment to while away a couple of hours for the younger kids – and for that it achieves its goal.
But compared to more nuanced blockbuster fare from the likes of Disney/Pixar – with the far superior Incredibles 2 out now – this really has a complete lack of ingenuity with a storyline that seems cobbled together in about five minutes.
With Dracula (Adam Sandler) lonely and seeking companionship, his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises him to give him a break from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel – by treating him to his own holiday via a Monster Cruise Ship in the Bermuda Triangle.
The rest of Drac’s Pack – including Mavis’ hubbie Johnny (Andy Samberg), Frank (Kevin James) and Wayne (Steve Buscemi) – go along for the ride, but when he gets romantically-involved with the mysterious human ship captain Ericka (Bad Moms’ Kathryn Hahn), Mavis soon thinks something’s afoot.
And that instinct soon rears its ugly head when unbeknown to everyone she’s actually a descendant of Drac’s ancient nemesis Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), as Ericka looks to put right what her family has failed to do through the ages – which is finally put a stake through Dracula’s heart in more ways than one.
With a styling that would be more suited to straight-to-DVD it all culminates in a DJ dance off ending that boasts the dance remix of Los Del Rio’s Macarena – which is sadly this animated-comedy’s attempted golden play.
The monster-theme is still zany enough for most children under eight – and there’s one funny scene for adults with the multiple wolf pack offspring being put in a kids’ club – but the plotline is as basic and as predictable as they come.
My four-year-old boy Joshua still found it enjoyable enough – but he instantly said: ‘Daddy it wasn’t as good as Incredibles 2’.
Which sums up this toothless two-hour vacation at the cinema very well.
Voice Cast: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kathryn Hahn, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key & Jim Gaffigan
Running Time: 1 Hr 37 Mins
Director: Gerard Tartakovsky
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