Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)

Synopsis: When his daughter, Mavis, insists on a family vacation, Dracula reluctantly agrees but becomes even less enthused when he learns it is on a cruise ship (which he believes isn't any different than their hotel). He quickly warms up to the idea, however, when he sees the ship's captain, Ericka, and falls in love. There's just one problem, Ericka is the great granddaughter of monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing and is determined (at the insistence of the still-alive ancestor) to carry out her family's legacy and kill Dracula.

Who's in it? The animated movie uses voices from Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn and Jim Gaffigan.

Review: Even though I love movies, I very rarely spend the money to see them at the theater. One of the few exceptions to that is, every July, we take the girls as part of their birthday celebration.

My youngest daughter said she wanted to see this movie and I figured her older sister would be OK with the choice as well. I, however, did have some doubts about the film, mostly because, by the time film franchises (especially animated ones) get to the third installment, they do tend to go downhill. As a result, I was concerned this movie (much like Despicable Me 3 last year) would be a waste of the money.

We wound up taking the girls to the Saturday matinee yesterday. And, as it turns out, this film was considerably better than I expected.

Some parts of the movie, as is usually the case with family films, were a little predictable and there really weren't any major surprises when it came to the overall plot and the film's ending. But, despite that, there were a lot of things I found I liked about this movie, ranging from the gremlin-flown airplane to a DJ battle to determine who controlled the music-loving Kraken (Joe Jonas).

One thing that really surprised me about this film, especially since it starred Adam Sandler, is the crude jokes were kept to a minimum. There were some, including a surprisingly funny garlic-inspired fart joke, but the comedy, for the most part, was kept family friendly. In other words, not only did I not regret spending the money on this movie, I wasn't cringing every few minutes, like I am with other "family" movies.

Final Opinion: OK, to be  honest, if it weren't for the girls' birthdays, I probably would, under normal circumstances, waited until I could get this movie through Netflix. But, this turned out to be a movie we all enjoyed watching and I don't feel as though I wasted my money on it. I'd recommend it as a result.

My Grade: B


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