VOD film review: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
Ivan Radford | On 14, Jan 2022
Director: Director Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
Cast: Brian Hull, Jim Gaffigan, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Buscemi
“Freaky Friday, but on a Tuesday.” That’s Hotel Transylvania 4 in a nutshell, as the animated franchise bows out with a body-swap comedy to bid farewell to its characters.
Brian Hull inherits the role of Drac from Adam Sandler here, which loses the franchise some of the star power that made it stand out in the first place. But Drac is, complete with overdone accent, still the same control-freak parent, preparing to pass his titular resort to his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), until he realises that doing so would see it changed beyond recognition by son-in-law Jonathan (Andy Samberg), a human. But when Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) lands everyone in a transformational conundrum, Drac finds himself human and Johnny becomes a gigantic dragon monster.
All this is a nice enough way to round out the series’ ongoing themes of acceptance and identity, but the film struggles to turn that idea into, well, a film. Stretching out over 90 minutes, the largely absent stakes, laughs and logic never quite justify checking into the hotel for one last stay. Mark Mothersbaugh music is as playfully inventive as ever, but the absence of Genndy Tartakovsky at the helm is keenly felt, which means even the visual wit that has kept the franchise going to date is in disappointingly short supply. Freaky Friday on a Tuesday? Stick with the former.