Now complete: The Dissolve's 2014 Movies To See Checklist
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The training is over.
The thrilling second chapter of the epic How To Train Your Dragon trilogy brings back the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years later. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.
The original How to Train Your Dragon was Dreamworks only truly great animated film meaning any sequel would be approached with equal parts excitement and trepidation. First time around I was utterly captivated by the relationship between a gawky viking boy and his adorable dragon companion but how could a second film possibly replicate the same intimate relationship and sparkling chemistry? Wisely it doesn’t. Although the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless remains a crucial element, the film is bigger, bolder and darker as it expands upon the viking-dragon universe.
Dean DeBlois - taking over sole directing duties for the first time - follows the Empire Strikes Back template for movie sequels. This is still very much the same world and…
"And with Vikings on the backs of dragons, the world just got a whole lot bigger."
Sequels are tricky. They involve a careful balance of using material developed in previous installments to explore new areas rather than doing the same thing over again. This delicate situation is difficult enough from a writing standpoint as it is, and is further exacerbated by the fact that the producers financing the picture probably just wants more of the same. It's no mystery that Hollywood has had a hard time with this in recent years, with films like 22 Jump Street and Muppets Most Wanted satirizing studios' lack of creative energy this year alone. But despite being a big budget summer sequel, How to…
Now that's how a sequel should be done! Not only did it maintain the hard earned integrity and creative awesomeness of the original film but it managed to not be a complete and utter repeat of what we already seen! It dared to take us on a whole new adventure! One I might add also took us out of our comfort zones! So parents of young children beware there is an "Old Yeller" moment!
As admirable as it is ambitious! And it did NOT disappoint!
I entered the cinema today to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 with seemingly impossible expectations, holding the first installment in my heart as one of the finest achievements in animation, and anything less than the same level of storytelling, emotional resonance and fun would have been a disappointment. In fact, its fair to say I expected an even better film than the first because as Hiccup and Toothless get older, I wanted the films to mature along with them, much like the progression of the Harry Potter series.
Typically when I sit down in a theater expecting this level of greatness, I inevitably exit feeling a tad disappointed because what I envisioned in my mind isn't fully realized…
I loved part 1, was absolutely bowled over by part 2. And that just doesn't happen very often.
Beautifully expanding on the foundation lain in the first film, part 2 is an adventure that has the guts to take on a darker tone when the story requires it, without ever compromising on its rollercoaster ride nature. It's fun, funny, epic and gripping, not something many feature films can pull off.
The animation is, once again, outstanding. Crisp, vibrant and creative, the character and dragon design will make you wish you had an extra set of eyes just to take in every single detail. What I found very impressive was the way director DeBlois managed to keep the often frenetic action…
In the summer of 2010, DreamWorks Animation released their finest feature in the form of How To Train Your Dragon which surprised everyone with its remarkable balance between story & animation elements and remains a rollicking adventure for all ages. Surfacing 4 years later amidst enormous hype is How To Train Your Dragon 2 and how does it fare in comparison to its predecessor? Let's find out.
Set 5 years after the events of the previous film, How To Train Your Dragon 2 continues the expedition of Hiccup & his pet dragon, Toothless, as they embark on a new journey to discover & map unexplored lands & territories. But when they come across a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new…
A very good sequel that expanded on the story of the first one while delivering again fantastic animation.
Loved it almost as much as the first one. It does feel a little samey at times with similar themes about proving to someone that dragons can be trustworthy. I still liked it a lot and enjoy that it's a chilren's movie series willing to have a dark theme I won't mention for spoiler reasons.
SO MANY FEELS
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is even better than its captivating predecessor and the success lies in the quality humor and the brave, for its target audience, storytelling, thus creating a great film for all ages.
Having adored the original this was crushingly disappointing. This was not helped by the introduction of Hiccup's mother played by the woeful Cate Blanchett doing a Scottish accent that made me die a little inside. In the end the final third is a poorer echo of the original and the climax doesn't really have anything new to add to the development of the characters. There is no journey just a "this would have happened anyway" kinda thing. It didn't have anything to say or anywhere to go.
Also, with less focus on the characters from the original and the introduction of a boring mother figure there us less time to celebrate the awesomeness of Astrid. She's championed at the beginning then marginalised for the rest of the film only to turn up and do the girlfriend thing at the end. Shame.
File under another animated sequel that shouldn't have been made.
I was excited for the film right from when the first teasers came out. I thought the flight scenes in 1 were some of the most beautiful and emotional scenes I've seen in animated cinema and they didn't disappoint in the sequel.
It maybe didn't keep me enthralled as the first film did but the characters stayed fresh and fun, the pace flowed well and the settings were gorgeous.
I watched this film believing I'd get something at least on par with the first film. I was even told it surpassed its predecessor, but to my disappointment, it did not. While there are a few significant, well written scenes of character development and relationship - primarily involving Stoic and and surprise not really dead character (no spoilers here). Beyond that, people are just talking to move the story, which would be fine, but the drive was primarily with Hiccup. Everyone else just felt like they were along for the ride - and much of the magic was gone. Not even Toothless felt significant in the grand scheme of things (or at least not until the midpoint to climax). Furthermore,…
A really terrific sequel which is just as great as the first one.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
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