Sunday, 29 June 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2

 
How To Train Your Dragon isn’t considered one of my favourite animated films, it is considered one of my favourite films.  I am still in love with How To Train Your Dragon and was not prepared for How To Train Your Dragon 2 to be anything less than the perfection of the first instalment.
Oddly, at the 12.30pm showing on the opening Saturday it was just me and my friends.  This was unexpected.
PLOT:  After the events of How To Train Your Dragon there are now dragons a plenty on the Island of Berk.  The only creatures living in fear are the sheep.  Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless begin to venture away from Berk to explore uncharted lands.  On their travels they meet a mysterious dragon rider and are introduced to a secret cave filled with wild dragons.  Unfortunately the villainous Drago (Djimon Hounsou) gets wind of their discovery and vows to take the dragons for his army.  END PLOT.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 takes place several years after How To Train Your Dragon and the first thing that struck me was how much I had missed the residents of Berk.  It was very satisfying, even at twenty-eight years of age, to join Hiccup and Toothless on another adventure.  Right from the opening dragon race sequence I was gone.  Time stood still and I was completely engrossed.
The plot is fine but with the benefit of hindsight the battle against Drago was probably very predictable but I care not.  I lived every moment of the story with the characters and genuinely grieved for the unexpected loss of a favourite. 
Jay Baruchel heads the returning cast of Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig with each actor sliding right back into their roles with ease.  Djimon Hounsou is adequate as Drago however Cate Blanchett was awful as Valka with her accent veering from Scottish to Irish before settling on a general mishmash of something which sounded vaguely Celtic. It is a strange day when Cate Blanchett is the worst thing about a movie but she does have previous when it comes to dodgy accents.
There are more action set pieces in HTTYD2 and this comes as no surprise but the animation is stunning and was an absolute treat for the eyes.  The dragons playing in the background of some of the quieter moments meant that there was always something fun for the audience to watch.  Toothless is the star of the franchise and even my typically hardened heart has fallen in love with the character.  The eyes and facial expressions are perfect.
The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is stronger than ever although it does hit a little rocky patch during the film.  The problem is they didn’t have this moment on par with this iconic scene from How To Train Your Dragon:


This moment is what cemented How To Train Your Dragon as one of my favourites.  I didn’t think it could be recaptured but How To Train Your Dragon 2 gave us this:

The flying scenes in this film have a real magical quality that I lose myself in.  The film could be a 90min montage of Hiccup and Toothless flying through the air and I would be happy.
In order to counteract the gushing adoration HTTYD2 did have one minor problem – the score.  John Powell is back and although the main musical theme can be heard throughout the film the score lacks the ferocity of “TestDrive” and the sweeping “Coming Back Around”.  The score feels watered down which is surprising given how important it seemed in the HTTYD.


Overall I cannot be disappointed with How To Train Your Dragon 2.  The sequel suffered slightly because it didn't have the surprise factor of How To Train Your Dragon but it will be loved just as much.  HTTYD2 gets 9/10.  There is something special about the mixture of friendship, dragons and flying that I completely fallen for.

The days are being counted until How To Train Your Dragon 3.
 

 

3 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, I really need to watch these at some point!

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    1. Hang on - have you not seen How To Train Your Dragon?! You are missing out!

      K :-)

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  2. Click popcornflix watch free movies now. The Hidden World's summaries mention Toothless finding a wild friend, who then seduces him to leave. Now that Hiccup has become the leader of the village on the shoulders of keeping everyone safe, he can not be caught up in endless adventures with Toothless. Perhaps Toothless's finding of his own world would be a complete end to the series, closing the circle from the beginning of the first part when Father Hiccup accepted to let his son go to find out about the series. self. Not the dragon that is "trained" is also the dragon born to do just that.

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