The monster family embarks on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.
You have bats in your belfry if you don’t see this movie soon! It’s summer fun all the way! The kids in the audience I screened this movie with were regularly giggling and laughing. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is fun to watch, and isn’t that what going to the movies is all about?
It seems that Drac (short for Dracula and voiced by Adam Sandler) is lonely. In one of the many hilarious scenes, Drac tells his smartphone that he is “looking for someone” (as in a date). “You want dim sum,” the phone repeats. He tells it plainly, “I am lonely.” “I understand,” replies his phone. “You want baloney!” Anyone who has ever experienced a communication problem with a phone, a phone representative, or any similar situation will certainly relate to the moment. Drac and his entire family, including Mavis, husband Johnny, and Drac’s grandson Dennis, head out for a summer vacation cruise. Of course, joining in the fun is the rest of the gang — Frank, the Bride of Frank, the werewolf and his wife as well as the mummy, and Drac’s father, Vlad (voiced by Mel Brooks), as well as the rest of the group from Hotel Transylvania. They don’t realize that the captain of the Legacy (their cruise ship which resembles the Titanic) is Captain Ericka, whose last name remains a mystery. It happens to be Van Helsing, and she’s the great granddaughter of Drac’s greatest nemesis, Van Helsing himself. Van Helsing is still alive, although part machine now, and he manipulates Ericka to kill Drac and to be rid of his enemy once and for all.
There is one problem however. Drac is “zinged’ as he puts it, by Ericka. He falls madly in love with her. And despite her many attempts on his life, Ericka begins to slowly discover how much she actually likes Drac. It’s a delicious moment in the movie when Drac first meets Ericka and can only babble in tongues as he finds her very attractive. She, of course, assumes he is speaking in a foreign language! Gibberish is more like it. “Ali boo boo!” is one of his lines, said with a wide-eyed silly expression of love on his face.
This first “monster cruise” leads the group from the Bermuda Triangle to the lost city of Atlantis, which is now — thanks to their discovery — no longer lost. This movie is a visual feast for the eyes, giving the viewer new monsters that were not seen in the first two installments, as well as wonderful old-time monster scenes which will remind the viewer of the old Universal Monster movies. Drac comes down a long staircase in the dark and it gives a creepy effect to the scene, which is totally atmospheric and appropriate. And Drac wonders if it is really possible to be “zinged” twice, as his first love, Mavis’ mother, has long been dead. But this film shows that love can “zing” someone at any time, especially when it is least expected.
The kids loved the scene in which Ericka puts garlic in Drac’s guacamole and he “toots” (we hear the flatulence). They laughed again when she does the same thing later and he tells her she has a “cute toot.” The laughs are plentiful in this fun-filled film.
The Dove Take
This film is harmless fun with some fantasy violence but contains a lot of laughs for the kids — as well as the adults. The characters are rich and zany, and the voice actors do an amazing job. One theme in the film is Mavis dealing with the fact her father loves someone else now that her mother is gone. Rest assured, father and daughter remain close. It’s nice to see that the same creative juices found in the first two installments of this series are still going strong in this latest movie. In one scene, the song “I’m in Love with a Monster” is sung. We love them too. How could you not love these adorable monsters? We were “zinged” by this movie and award it our Dove Approved All Ages Seal.