Directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska
Written by Amos Vernon & Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky
Starring Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian Hull, Fran Drescher, Brad Abrell, Asher Blinkoff
Plot: Drac’s Pack is back, like you’ve never seen them before in the final chapter of ‘Hotel Transylvania’.
Amazon Studios will release HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: TRANSFORMANIA on Prime Video globally on January 14, 2022
I will be the first to admit that I was not a fan of the previous installment: Hotel Transylvania: Summer Vacation. The movies are charming, funny, and often a wild ride and Vacation had bits and pieces of that, but the story just took me out of what they were going for. This new, and final, film in the franchise arrives with a new voice behind Dracula in Brian Hull as Adam Sandler does not reprise his role from the first three films.
Dracula is finally retiring and leaving the hotel to his kids until, well, Johnny (Andy Samberg) reveals his excitement to take over with his sister. However, the enthusiasm leads to Dracula having a change of heart which he reveals to poor Johnny that he can’t turn it over to him because he isn’t a monster.
After Johnny attempts to win over Dracula, a Freaky Friday style of moment happens, which makes everything go crazy. I admit we have seen the ‘Freaky Friday‘ thing quite a lot on the big screen, but the charm of doing it with these characters made it feel a little fresher. It was a nice touch to bring some much-needed emotion back to the franchise.
Although Adam Sandler was missed, I think Andy Samberg stepped up to the plate to bring the goods to make the loss less impactful. We see a lot of Samberg’s famous characteristics within Johnny. Johnny is a fun-loving goofball that has this over-the-top charm that is filled with wisdom in a way that he just wants to be loved, which is where Samberg shines.
Another standout was Selena Gomez within the role of Mavis. She and Samberg work well off of each other, but that much-needed emotion I talked about brought that to the table within the part.
Honestly, this is my favorite film of the franchise. The writing had stakes that allowed the audience to attach themselves to this journey. I liked how they structured the story to make you feel more connected to Johnny in a realistic way. The entire ensemble knew they had to raise the bar with the missing pieces and they did just that.
The Verdict: B
The movie was everything it needed to wrap a nice little bow on this franchise driven by a solid story and fun acting.