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Hotel Transylvania (3D)


Stars: Voices: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Allen Covert. CeeLo Green

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Given that this is effectively a Sandler film - he voices Dracula, acts as executive producer and has the excitable Samberg, his co-star from the awful That's My Boy, in tow - we perhaps shouldn't be surprised that the comedy content of this animated feature is revoltingly unfunny.

The film improves a bit towards the end when it sticks to the plot, lapses into semi-seriousness and stops trying so hard.

Dracula is the proprietor of of the eponymous hotel, a haven for all the famous monsters of filmland and, natch, has a cute (and vam-pure) daughter (Gomez) approaching maturity at the onset of her 118th birthday.

Enter a human backpacker, Jonathan (Samberg) who, after Drac unwisely disguises him as a monster to placate his other tenants, upsets the applecart by falling for the vampire's daughter.

On paper, the cast looks strong - James as the Frankenstein Monster, Buscemi as the werewolf (called Wayne??), Lovitz as the hunchback chef, Spade as the Invisible Man and Green as the Mummy - but they all go at it full tilt; the 'fun' is fast and furious all right, but the comedy is left with no room to breathe.

Still, there's the occasional good sequence - a joust between Dracula and the backpacker on flying tables - and the odd, genuinely funny line - 'If the monsters knew you're human,' gasps the Count, 'they'd go batpoo!' All in all, and without the ruder jokes, it's the kind of thing your kids might just about tolerate on teatime TV.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 08 Oct 2012