How To Train Your Dragon 2 Movie Review
Hiccup and Toothless return to the silver screen in the next installment in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise! Does it live up to the hype or does it disappoint after a near perfect predecessor? How to Train Your Dragon 2 has Dean DeBlois returning as the writer and director after his co-director on the first film Chris Sanders left the franchise. This was concerning when announced but have no fear, DeBlois provides a film worthy of standing toe to toe with the best animation has to offer and nearly tops the original. It is the movie to beat this summer and maybe of the year. How to Train Your Dragon 2 does what every good sequel should, it expands the universe and doesn’t retreat back to how things were before the first film just to rehash the same story. The events of the first film have consequences and they are felt by all of the characters. Now that the dragons have been domesticated, the Vikings and primarily Hiccup are exploring the world mapping it out. Along their adventures they encounter surprise after surprise for the audience. Sadly the trailers spoiled one of the best moments in the movie and robbed a great twist from their fans who also watched the promotional material. One of my friends who accompanied me at the screening had not seen any trailers and the revelation blew his mind. The story in general is fantastic. The story progression and character motivations are all believable and characters show grow throughout the film. The parallelism is still present between Toothless and Hiccup which I found fascinating to uncover. The film also isn’t afraid to be dramatic and go a little dark, just as the first film did with Hiccup losing his foot. I almost teared up at a few scenes in this film from both sadness and happiness. The storytelling from DeBlois allows for stunning sequences whether they are character moments or the awesome action scenes/flying sequences. It is a beautiful film and just like the first, has breathtaking cinematography. I saw the film in 3D and I believe you should as well. When the dragon riders are in the sky, the film transports you with them and when the shot is over the shoulder while the dragons are diving I got chills every time. I actually got chills a ton of times in this movie. John Powell returns to score the second film and his score is just as good as last time, I will be buying it as soon as it is released to purchase. His music helps heighten scenes, but that isn’t to say you don’t generally care about the characters and the town of Berk because you do. The decision to make Toothless very cat and dog like was genius because it the audience sympathizes with him easily since most people have had or had a pet they loved dearly, and this trick did wonders for me. Whenever Toothless was in danger my heart sank, same with the other characters. The fantastic cast returns along with some star studded additions. Jay Baruchel’s voice for Hiccup is perfect along with the other voices since I can’t picture them being voiced by anyone else. As I go through the cast list I’m stunned by the big names in here since I did not hear any of them when I saw the movie, I heard the characters whom have all been aged up 5 years. This is evident in the designs which one of my friends had an issue with Astrid’s redesign but it works since she is supposed to be 5 years older in this film, plus I find the minimal redesign to be an improvement. The whole cast in general did a phenomenal job and I hope they all return for the soon to be greenlit sequel that has been talked about in interviews. How to Train Your Dragon 2 provides scenes that will leave you in awe and when the credits roll, you will sit there with chills down your spine. It is a must see in theaters for all ages, especially in 3D.