Do You Really Need a Review of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania? Here's One Anyway.

Over the years, these movies have scored by never promising too much: Mix some obvious (but not necessarily unfunny) jokes, a by-the-numbers story, Adam Sandler doing the world’s worst Dracula accent (which, thanks to the alchemy of Sandler’s commitment to never committing , somehow becomes the world’s best Dracula accent), stitch it all together with some visual inventiveness courtesy of director and cult animator Genndy Tartakovsky, and voilà,you’ve got a hit.

The fourth entry in the series, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (out now on Amazon Prime Video, so your kids don’t even need you to take them anymore) mostly sticks to that established formula, though it’s hard not to feel like the dutifulness that always loomed over the previous films has now fully taken over the enterprise.

Maybe because Sandler himself isn’t even there to begin with: He’s been replaced by impressionist comedian Brian Hull, who voiced the character in an earlier Hotel Transylvania short.

The new picture begins with Dracula celebrating his hotel’s 125th anniversary with a secret plan to announce that he is retiring and handing the business over to Mavis (and, somewhat reluctantly, to her klutzy and annoyingly overenthusiastic human husband Johnny, still voiced by Andy Samberg).

But when Drac’s secret spills out and Johnny gets a little too excited, the Count decides he can’t relinquish the hotel he spent more than a century building to his irritating son-in-law.

Of course, what made the previous Hotel Transylvania films fun were the many throwaways bits involving the supporting cast: The Wolfman (Steve Buscemi) eating a huge herd of sheep in order to clear a whole mountain path, the Invisible Man (David Spade) talking to his invisible (and possibly non-existent) girlfriend, the Blob using pieces of himself to power a sauna.

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