How To Train Your Dragon 2

Release Date: June 13, 2014
Director: Dean DeBlois
Screenplay: Dean DeBlois
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington

It’s been five years since the events of How To Train Your Dragon, and we start this film as we started the first one, with Hiccup (Baruchel) monologuing about life in Berk. Except this time, instead of vikings fighting dragons, we have… Dragon Quidditch! OK, it’s called Dragon Races, but Dragon Quidditch is a more apt name. While the young ones in the village partake in this awesome game, Hiccup is off with Toothless discovering new places and putting them on a map. And that’s how they discover the plot. On one hand we have villain Drago (Hounsou), who wants to capture and dominate all dragons; on the other we have Valka (Blanchett), who is the guardian of some sort of dragon sanctuary and, as the trailers already spoiled, is Hiccup’s long-lost mother.

First things first, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is great! It ups the ante as a sequel should do and the characters grow because of it. Hiccup is now a young adult who has to decide between his responsibility and his passion, as well as reconnect with his origins and learn to be a leader. Also, his relationship with Toothless strengthens through hardships.

Talking about relationships, the moments he has with each of his parents, as well as the moments his parents had together were all touching. Valka is so awkwardly awesome, you can tell the woman has not had human contact in ages, and the way she moves and carries herself is fascinating to watch. Also, her masked guardian attire deserves to be cosplayed a lot. Her vulnerable side when she reunited with Hiccup and with Stoick was a lovely sight. The “For the Dancing and the Dreaming” scene was one of the moments where How To Train Your Dragon 2 made me tear up.

Hiccup’s age group had their moments to shine too, with Astrid (Ferrera) being the leader most of the time where Hiccup is otherwise engaged. And I also appreciated the way Ruffnut (Wiig) gifted us with the female gaze on dragon trapper Eret (Harrington). Kudos for the animation team in charge of making Harrington’s character show a full range of human emotions on his CG face~

Talking about animation, this was even more beautiful than the first one. And the 3D really helps making you immersed in all the dragon flying and the dragon battles. Also, the new dragons were great to watch, and had even more beautiful (and weird) designs. And Toothless’ slightly changed design was a clever way to show he has aged too. Great research on reptile ageing process, guys! Which is as close as we will get to actual dragons…

The only thing that kept it from making this a perfect movie was the villain Drago (Hounsou). Sure, the guy was scary and quite ruthless, but his motivation was weak. Either don’t show it or make it better, but the half-assed raison d’etre he gave us, while it explains his attitude towards dragons, it doesn’t explain his actions. That said, Hounsou did give his all with what he had.

So yes,  How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a good sequel and you should watch it if you liked the first one. And if you didn’t, you should watch it too, because I want a third part and it’s not doing as great as I wish at the box office. And I still want a dragon.

Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

mirella

YAM Magazine geek resident. Cloud Cuckoolander. Seldom web developer. Graphic designer.

8 Responses

  1. Rodrigo says:

    In Drago’s case, he shares similarities with Hiccup, Toothless and Stoic’s buddy since they’re all handicapped. However, Hiccup and Toothless made their disability a strength and were able to move on with their lives (the same for Stoic’s buddy) while Drago wasn’t able to do that given his surroundings and background. It’s something to think about.

    But really, outstanding film thanks to its animation and story.

    • mirella says:

      @Rodrigo, Oh, that was fairly obvious. What wasn’t was his whole “Dragons killed my people and took my arm, that’s why I will enslave all Dragons to conquer the world”… and I was like whaaaaa?
      They didn’t create a better background for his character besides the obvious parallel between Drago and Hiccup. I guess they didn’t have time? I read somewhere that Valka was originally going to be the villain and in the end they backpedaled and created Drago.

      • Rodrigo says:

        @mirella, I guess they had to create Drago because if Valka ended up being the main antagonist, HTTYD2 would have turned into a much darker film considering her tie to Hiccup.

      • amy says:

        Hiccup, I am your mother.
        No~~~

        Why do all these vikings sound Irish or Scottish? xD This is the first time I listen to the original audio. LOL

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