Friday, 12 October 2012

Review: Hotel Transylvania (3D)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Hotel Transylvania poster

Hotel Transylvania (3D)
91 mins / Dir. Genndy Tartakovsky

How do you script an animated film with this title, and not put in a reference to an Eagles song? Maybe because the rest of your screenplay is working on a level so much higher, that you don't need to cheapen it with obvious, generic gags?

Oh. All the jokes are in the trailer. Yes, I know the trailer's only a minute and a quarter long. Yes, I know that minute and a quarter isn't all jokes. All the jokes are in the trailer.

The film's worst crime (and there are several), is how bland it is. The concept behind the setup is a fairly interesting one, but it swings half-heartedly into a father/daughter fable, with Dracula's little girl being the only character showing any trace of genuine emotion. It's sort of like a Tim Burton pastiche, made by a team who've only heard of Tim Burton from other people. And when I see Genndy (Samurai Jack) Tartakovsky's name at the helm, it makes me want to cry.

I still can't work out if this is an endorsement or a warning…
I still can't work out if this is an endorsement or a warning…

Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg overact to the point of irritation, and any subtlety that the supporting actors try and bring to the flat script is drowned out completely. Meanwhile, the clockwork story lurches along for 90 minutes, and the only thing I kept thinking throughout was "…why isn't this better?" Even the character designs are so generic that the merchandising will look a cheap rip-off of itself.

The only saving graces are some quite beautifully executed animation, and a nicely underplayed (if brief) nod to The Wedding Singer.

Oh, and then Adam Sandler does a rap at the end.


I can't hate it; the animation is smooth, the humour is broad, and Hotel Transylvania accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. Although with such a dearth of ambition, you'd be amazed if it didn't. Acquitted by its own low standards.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

1 comment:

  1. I’m not surprised to hear Adam Sandler and Adam Samberg overacted their characters even in an animated movie. I was talking about this movie with some co-workers from DISH. Most of us hate scary movies, and we thought this might be a safer film than the other scary movies that are out this season. I’m still not sure I want to see “Hotel Transylvania” in theaters; instead I think it would be perfect for a night in. I’m going to wait until this movie is released on DVD, and will add it to my Blockbuster @home account. The shipping is fast, and when I’m done I can return this to the store for another movie in my queue. I think this movie will be perfect to watch with my family even if the story line is a little bland.