Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

 

Don’t look at me like that, Toothless. Seriously, stop it.

Hiccup and Toothless try to save Berk from another dragon war by preventing a growing dragon army from attacking.

I caught this yesterday with some friends. I had heard from my friends, mostly animation majors, that this was amazing; the conclusion was mostly drawn from gasps and “I KNOW!”, so I walked in knowing that it had to be amazing. Long story short: it is, in some aspects.

Most of the images are all about scale. From seeing Toothless and Hiccup fly among the clouds to the reveal of the Alpha, there’s a bit to take in. From where I was, I was further away from the screen than I normally would be in a theater but I suppose that didn’t matter. I was caught up in the world of Berk and I felt like I had a sense of scale.

Scanning the audience, I found more adults than children present. There were groups of just adults strolling in and taking their seats. Sure, there were kids but to see the room filled with more adults is surprising. I suppose like the previous film, there is something that connects viewers regardless of age.

There are some bouts of turbulence in the film’s flight pattern. The other Viking adults (Astrid, Snotlout, etc.) are sent to the back for the majority of the film. Whenever a scene focused on them, I forgot that they were even part of the film. They’ve aged, sure, but they haven’t matured, save for Astrid.

The dialogue, while touching, does set up each plot point for the film if you pay attention. When I picked up on some of these lines, I figured it was only a matter of time before said event happened. Thankfully, I focused on other things in the meantime.

I’m sure, if you haven’t heard already, that there’s a line that Gobber mentions that hints at something that may be present in the third movie. I’d read about it and had anticipated the response in the theater. There were several chuckles among the adults, myself included. If it means what I think it means, then it’ll be a pleasure to watch.

It’s beautifully rendered, even without the 3D glasses as I saw it. I felt like I could live in Berk and be completely fine with it (as long as I get my own Night Fury). The dragon nest is stunning, though I felt like I stumbled into Avatar because of the look. Still, it’s a beautiful environment.

Is this better than the first one? Yes. New territory is explored and we see Hiccup and crew change once again. It’s not the usual retread that sequels usually suffer, but it does have some missteps. I’ll end up watching this again when the DVD comes out with some animation majors just because. Now comes the hard part: waiting for the third.

8/10

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

  1. A lot more emotional and grown-up than the first, which made it slightly better. However, they’re both pretty fantastic movies in their own rights. Good review.

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