Hotel Transylvania Reviews
Bringing Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel's ghost of a script to life is the dramatically over-talented ensemble voice cast and a ghoulishly lively score by Mark Mothersbaugh. the original stunningly impressionistic concept art of gothic eastern-European towns - if kept for more than closing credits -could have resulted in something special but comes across as if it has had all its edges sanded down for children's safety resulting in another vivid yet crude 3D movie from the box office meat grinder.
Desperate to escape the dangerous pitchfork-wielding persecution of humans who he considers responsible for killing his wife a century ago, the neurotic Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) designed and operates a purpose built elaborate monsters-only resort.
Obscurely hidden from human angry-mobs, Hotel Transylvania is a safe haven, a refuge to a mottled assortment of supernatural oddballs. Ranging from honeymooning flees to the toilet-clogging Yeti; all who dwell within are protected.
At the center of the melee is Dracula's headstrong daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). To daddy's disgust and against all his efforts to create a fake and scary "outside world", the almost-of-age Mavis plans to leave home and curiously explore the world. In a cunning attempt to make her stay, Dracula throws a massive coming-out party in her honor.
Poised to celebrate her 118th birthday, Dracula invites the whose-who of world's monsters to attend, but when an unexpected guest accidentally wanders into the hotel and catches Mavis eye more than the monsters anonymity is at risk.
With the help of his friends, big-hearted Frankenstein (Kevin James), his brash wife, Eunice (Fran Drescher), anxious werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi), boisterous former entertainer Murray the Mummy (CeeLo Green), witty Invisible Man Griffin (David Spade) and head chef Quasimodo (Jon Lovitz), Dracula must find a way to evict the slacker human backpacker boy named Jonathan (voiced by Andy Samberg).
Can the Count control his daughter and keep her under his wing? Or will the mere human discover who or what the hotels inhabitants are? And if he does will it help Mavis to leave the hotels sanctuary?
To avoid copyright issues, the films creative team has concocted a number of wacky yet inspired new looks for its fashionable monster ilk. From a rodent-like Quasimodo, to a consistently blushing invisible man (yes there is irony here), each character has been inventively revamped in a particularly 'Monster high' fashion to capture the attention of children.
That being said, from initial tour of the hotel lobby, the screen seems over-crowded with a mash-up of mismatched personalities and none of the clutter seems fully explored or generally relevant. The incessant flitting through the hotel's cavernous hallways seems more like a time waster than storyline.
Poking fun at classic monster-movie clichés, the lines delivered in various unsteady accents lose wings on more than one occasion. But there are some key one-liners like when Sandler's Dracula dismisses human blood stating "It's so fatty, and you never know where it's been!")
The Verdict: Much like the films resident werewolves and their unruly litter of rug rats, Hotel Transylvania can't quite seem to pull all of its rambunctious ideas into line.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 14/09/2012