August 29, 2018

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Count Dracula Falls for Cruise Ship Captain With Hidden Agenda

By Kam Williams

The first two movies of this popular animated series were set in a hotel that created a safe space for monsters to unwind. But what happpens when the resort owners themselves need a break? That’s the question being answered at the outset of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, an animated film about proprietor Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his company’s getaway on a luxury cruise for ghouls. At the point of departure, we find Dracula’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) making reservations for the family aboard the Legacy, a boat headed for the Bermuda Triangle to search for the mythical island Atlantis.

En route, the widowed Count finds himself being charmed by the ship’s captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). However, Dracula doesn’t know that Ericka is the great-granddaughter of his archenemy, the legendary monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan).

By the time Mavis and her husband (Andy Samberg) figure out that the captain is up to no good, Count Dracula is already under her spell. Can the Count be saved from the temptress’s plan to spike his guacamole with garlic oil? Or will she fall for the count herself and give up her plan to subdue the reformed vampire?

Thus unfolds Hotel Transylvania 3 (HT3), a comedy directed by Genndy Tartakovsky who also directed HT1 and HT2. The principal cast members all reprise their roles and include Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Mel Brooks, Fran Drescher, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, and David Spade.

The cartoon has lots of side-splitting slapstick and sight gags that are fun for the whole family, but what really makes this movie memorable is its universal message about tolerance.

Excellent (****). Rated PG for action and rude humor. Running time: 97 minutes. Production Studios: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation/Media Rights Capital. Distributor: Columbia Pictures.