In Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, as Drac is becoming increasingly lonely running his hotel, Mavis, thinking he is overworked, takes this as an opportunity to plan a family vacation to get Drac to relax. The whole family and their friends set off on a Monster cruise, the first of its kind. Once on the ship, they meet their captain, Captain Ericka, who Drac immediately “zings” with and we spend the rest of the film watching his pursuit of her. Despite his infatuation, Ericka may not have the purest intentions as she works closely with a former nemesis of Drac’s who plans to destroy all the monsters. As they jump from port to port, we get some heartfelt family moments between Mavis and Drac as well as the rest of the family.
In addition to Drac (Adam Sandler) and Mavis (Selena Gomez), the usual characters have returned for the third installment. Eunice, Vlad, Griffin, Wayne, Murray, Frank, Crystal, Blobby, and Wanda are all back to join Drac, Mavis, Johnny, and Dennis on their vacation. While much of the focus lies on Drac, Ericka, and Mavis, the other characters serve as comedic relief or a break from the rest of the story. They don’t get as much attention as in previous installments but are funny nonetheless.
The focus of the film is two-fold. It focuses on the relationship between Drac and Mavis and how their relationship must evolve now that Mavis is older and Drac is feeling lonely. Mavis has to face her father wanting to be with someone else, and it provides the emotional weight to the film. Some scenes are funny in which the family is together on vacation and brings home the message of family and togetherness. We also get a look into what it is like for Drac to date again, which is a point of contention between him and Mavis but also provides a lot of the humor in the story. His awkward moments and uncertainty with himself and the situation make the story all the more charming.
Where the story here floundered I believe was the awkward set up at the beginning of the film. You had to learn a portion of Drac’s past to understand the rest of the film, but I feel that it could have been added in a little bit more organically. It almost feels like a false start to the film. The rest of the story is cute and harmless with a lot of jokes geared towards the kids with less for the adults this time. The beginning of the film was a bit rough and took a while to build up the momentum to which we are accustomed to with the previous Hotel Transylvania films. I will say that whoever was in charge of picking the music for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation knocked it out of the park! The music is undoubtedly one of my favorite parts of the film.
Geared more towards kids than adults, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation will be the perfect escape for the kids at the movies this summer. The silliness of the characters and jokes will have them laughing and loving every minute of it. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is not for the adults, but after all, it is the kids’ summer vacation.