Family Movietime: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Five years after the last film How to Train your Dragon 2 brings us back to Berk where dragons are happily a part of the culture now. All the kids look older but Hiccup is definitely more pronounced. So waht’s going on and what do they have in store?
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless have been out exploring the world beyond Berk. Between practicing flying moves he’s been making a map of the world as he sees it. Of course exploring leads to mysteries and the beyond. One of the early intro is that of Dragon Trapper Eret (Kit Harington). Highly skilled and the leader of his crew he still has another boss the highly feared Drago. Hiccup believes he can talk Drago into stopping his dragon trapping but it goes much further Drago (Djimon Hounsou) is building a dragon army to conquer the world.
We also get another shocking surprise, Hiccups mom Valka (Cate Blanchett) is not dead. She’s very much alive and a dragon rider who protects and cares for all the dragons in her sanctuary. The back-story about her presumed death is explained although not the part from the first film where its assumed she’s large much like Stoick (Gerard Butler), if you recall Hiccup’s helmet is from half of her bra. There are many smaller stories weaving in the background of How to Train Your Dragon 2. Stoick wants Hiccup to become clan leader so he can retire but Hiccup feels he’s not ready even though he’s of age now that he’s 20. Astrid (America Ferrera) is still holding her own but trying to convince Hiccup of his place and that he’s ready. Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) is being courted by both Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Snotlout (Jonah Hill). This is of course making Tuffnut’s (T.J. Miller) riding difficult.
The bigger story is Drago. This is not the first Stoick knows if him. Drago killed off the other leaders of the Viking counsel. Valka also fears him. Only Hiccup thinks reasoning will work. There’s also a new dragon introduced the Alpha male. While we saw in the previous film the queen of the nest who all the other dragons where in service to, the Alpha in this case protects and helps all the dragons who it commands. There can only be one Alpha at any given time and it has mild control powers over other dragons.
How the Train Your Dragon 2 has some really great battle sequences and the various stories keep it moving along at just the right pace to keep the little ones from getting bored. The 3D is pretty good here as well but nothing would be lost if you end up skipping it. While the bad guy in this film is a human it adds another dimension that didn’t exist in the previous, that not everyone is a good person or can be changed. Warning to parents while its not overly scary there is a major death. While I won’t spoil who it is this isn’t’ a temporary death someone dies and they are not coming back. Considering that there is a 3rd film planned its a big plot point. While my daughter wasn’t upset by it, I was a bit taken aback but the death.
While How to Train Your Dragon 2 doesn’t follow the book series this is still a very worthwhile followup to the first film.
My Rating: Full price
Worth the 3D upcharge: Yes
Director: Dean DeBlois
Studio: 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks Animation
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Run time: 102 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG