The News-Times

Time to bid goodbye to ‘Hotel Transylvan­ia’

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Here are some good things about the fourth Hotel Transylvan­ia movie: Kathryn Hahn, who is as evocative a voice actor as she is in live action; The monster sidekicks voiced by David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi and Brad Abrell; A joke about a single marshmallo­w (really); The revelation that the invisible man has been naked this whole time; The 94-minute runtime; And its easy accessibil­ity on Amazon Prime Video starting on Jan. 14.

But perhaps the best thing about “Hotel Transylvan­ia: Transforma­nia “is that it’s the end. The well of ideas on this particular property has apparently run dry and they have made the wise decision to show themselves the door. Though not wise enough to end on a particular­ly high note.

What started as a clever enough riff on a father-daughter relationsh­ip, monsters and the hospitalit­y industry has been on cruise control from its early days and has been running out of fuel since. It’s hard to shake the feeling that everyone was just phoning it in for this final go. Actually, it’s not even “everyone” since Adam Sandler, who was the marquee sell for the previous three as Count “Drac” Dracula, managed to bow out early. Kevin James did too.

This time, under the direction of Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska, Drac is voiced by Brian Hull, who does a fine job approximat­ing Sandler’s vampire shtick. And though the character has had three movies to get used to the idea of his daughter’s relationsh­ip, he hasn’t evolved much from the first movie, when he sits back in horror as Mavis (Selena Gomez) meets and falls in with a human man, Johnny (Andy Samberg).

It’s hard to overstate just how garish and frenetic this whole endeavor is. Even with the explosion of colors it still strains to hold interest. The manic “Hotel Transylvan­ia: Transforma­nia” does not seem to be for parents or for very young kids. Perhaps there’s a sweet spot for 8- to 12-year-olds who may love these characters and be on board for whatever adventure they find themselves in, but even this might test their patience.

“Hotel Transylvan­ia: Transforma­nia,” a Sony Pictures/Amazon Prime Video release on Prime Video on Friday, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Associatio­n of America for “cartoon nudity, some action and rude humor.” Running time: 94 minutes.

 ?? Associated Press ?? Drac, voiced by Brian Hull, left, and Monster Johnny, voiced by Andy Samberg, in the animated film “Hotel Transylvan­ia: Transforma­nia.”
Associated Press Drac, voiced by Brian Hull, left, and Monster Johnny, voiced by Andy Samberg, in the animated film “Hotel Transylvan­ia: Transforma­nia.”

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