How to Train Your Dragon 2
Director: Dean DeBlois
Cast Headliners: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, America Ferrara, Djimon Hounsou
Original Release Date: June 13, 2014
2010’s How to Train Your Dragon, first a series of children’s fantasy novels, was a big hit for DreamWorks Animation. The film combined a fun premise (Vikings vs dragons!) with some cool animation and some humorous likeable characters. How To Train Your Dragon 2 further improves on these strong traits to make a thrilling adventure.
This sequel resumes the story five years after the events of the previous one. Dragons and the vikings of Berk live in harmony. This addition is great since it allows for even more exciting action set pieces involving the dragon riders. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his adorable yet cool dragon Toothless explore the lands around Berk charting out new territories. Problems arise when a conspiracy starts involving both an army of dragon hunters led by the ferocious Drago (Djimon Hounsou) and a dragon warlord.
It would ruin the film’s joys to give away what happens in the plot, but rest assured that it has a surprisingly decent depth for this medium. Veteran characters like Astrid(America Ferrera), Snotlout(Jonah Hill), Fishlegs(Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and the other such friends of Hiccup get more screentime and entertaining moments. It’s also great to see the talks between Hiccup’s father Stoick( Gerard Butler) , Hiccup, and the blacksmith Gobber (Craig Ferguson). Newcomer Erett(Kit Harrington) is also a great addition the cast of characters. The movie has a pretty good mix between lighthearted humor, fantastical adventure action, and even some emotional drama.
The dragons are, as expected, the stars of the show. They shine with color and neat design, and their “culture” is much more elaborated upon in this. They are just some of the surprises of the film. Their human peers in the story sometimes get a too silly or fall a bit flat, but their clashes can be awe inspiring. This has taken everything from the first film up a notch, and it’s worth checking out. 8.5 out of 10