Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Notice: The Dragon University would like to inform viewers of this film, that the methods of dragon taming shown are incorrect. Further more, any injury caused by utilizing the sub par methods depicted, is not the responsibility of any of the certified Hatcheries. Complaints or other concerns can be voiced to the She-Demons of Riff-Tuu.

Alright so if it was not obvious by now I am a serious sucker for Science Fiction. I watch way more of it, then really anything else. Also almost all of my writing  falls into that category. As such, I have never really found the appeal of fantasy. I have even gotten into arguments on the subject.

Yet, there is one thing I totally agree with.

Dragons are bad-ass!

From Game of Thrones, to Eragon, I adore the scaly beasts of the sky. Maybe it is just a left over nostalgia from when I was a little kid, but they are such a cool species. Such a product of fantasy as well, from a science perspective they make absolutely no sense. Their bones would have to be completely hollow, and the fact they breathe fire is ludicrous. Their is of course only one excuse, magic, and for once I am completely okay with that.

So, when I first say the original “How to Train Your Dragon” I was optimistic, sure it was made by Dreamworks,  who does not have the greatest track record when it comes to…quality. Yet, I ended up seeing it. The fact that David Tennant is a voice actor did not influence me at all….really….

Well my obsession with Doctor Who might have been what brought me here, but I stayed because the movie was excellent. A blend of dragon myths and Vikings, with a pseudo anti-racism message. Also a focus on nonviolence and brilliant animation

So when I heard there was going to be a sequel, I rushed to go see it, bringing along as many of my friends I could. Expecting action and a clever plot.

We were not disappointed.

You see, because unlike a lot of crappy sequels, this one built on the existing world, and expanded it.

None of that stupid rehash, or jumping to the kids of the original character. Nope, Hiccup still has the girl, and still lost his foot. He is a hero and an explorer, and a free spirit.

So then what do you have the conflict be? You make him have to grow up, to be an adult.

F*** how did they know exactly what problem I was facing in my personal life? It’s almost like all of us New Adults are struggling with that very problem……

So yeah, this movie was secretly made for people between 18-25. Huh, nice curve ball Dreamworks, well-played, well-played.

So yeah, that’s what we have going this time around. A mix of Dragons, social problems, action and even a look at the nature of free will.

Oh, and Steampunk. Did I forget to mention that?

Yeah, Steampunk. You see in the last movie Hiccup lost his leg, so he replaces it. With Science!

He also has a fire sword. No, not a sword that is on fire.

No he has a Sword. Made. Of. Fire.

So yeah, instant coolness points for that. In fact just the general design for his armor and the tool he uses are downright inspired, putting Batman’s utility belt to shame, and it is not hammer-space either. Every item he uses has a clearly defined pocket that he got it from.

With that bit of praise I can smoothly flow right into the animation. That is really the best word for it, smooth. Motion is brilliant to watch, and sharp turns are stunning. But the flying, though, the flying is the best bit. The first movie since Avatar that really made you understand what flight feels like. All of this was incredible, but then as we were exiting the theater, a friend of mine pointed something out to me, that nearly knocked me through a loop. Nothing in the movie is smooth, or without texture, every nook and cranny has been animated with depth and scales, and ridges.

Dirt looks dirty, and ice look blue.

Wait, what?

Yeah okay, it is a bit of a nitpick, but it is true. The ice is blue in this movie, and it is a tad annoying. Also since I am getting out my complaints, my only other one is that death is handled in an annoying way. I can’t really blame them for it, as the movie is intended for young audience, but *spoiler alert* people and dragons die in this movie. In of course an incredibly P.G. way. Mainly by not letting you see the bodies afterwards. Because if you could, it would be grisly, from falling, to being gored through the heart. It is a violent movie, which only increases my suspicion that it was originally intended to be made for an older audience.

The proof is all there. The moral, the deaths, the fact that the movie actually sorta says that violence is sometimes necessary. But, then they had to edit it. I am almost certain on that fact. Not that it lessens the movie, they work well with what they have. Creating another part of the enjoyable fantasy world that they have crafted.

But what is the point of all of this, if I don’t judge the crap out of it?

TO THE CHECKLIST!

  1.  The movie is clever and smart. Check!
  2.  The viewer experiences the emotion or tone that was intended by the director. Check!
  3.  The main characters are interesting, dynamic, and not stereotypical. Check!
  4. The movie is not a remake, prequel, sequel, or a mid-quell. If it is one, it needs to be better than the original. Sorry the first one was better….
  5. Engaging and well paced. Basically stuff happens at a good pace. Check!
  6. Has a story worth telling. Check!
  7. Has a satisfying resolution. Check!
  8. General technical excellence. Camera angles are good, and the lighting is pleasing to look at. Definitely!
  9. The movie does not have any plot holes in it. The pirate/trapper changed his tune really quick.
  10. Not predictable, story does not follow a paint by numbers plot. Check!

So, the Dragons have brought me my epic scroll, and with a phoenix feather pen, I award this film an 8/10!

So that puts the final score at………

  • Score: 8/10
  • Buy or Rent: Buy
  • Rewatch Value: High

Well that wraps up the review. Here’s hoping to a How To Train Your Dragon 3!

Maybe this time it will focus on Hiccup dealing with marriage? Actually, no joke, I would totally watch that, especially if more dragons show up.

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