How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review

Hiccup and Toothless are back in action in How To Train Your Dragon 2. It has all the camaraderie, the friendship, the action of the original. This is how a sequel should be.

The CG are absolutely amazing. How To Train Your Dragon, the original got a lot of attention for its graphics, and guess what, the sequel is just as good. Now granted there isn't a whole lot that flies off the screen. But whereas many 3-D pictures tend to be dark and gritty, that is anything but the case in HTTYD2. Even in the cave scenes, it wasn't. The colors are so vivid, almost too vivid, especially after the darker hues of the caves. The dragons are a huge calliope of colors, they look remarkable.

Jay Baruchel lends his voice to Hiccup once again. He never stepped out of this role. He did How To Train Your Dragons as well as the tv series. The fantastic thing about the franchise, that I cannot gush enough about, is that they really know how to do a companion series right. Movies are the big event in the world, and the TV show are the day to day things in the Vikings life. What makes it so fantastic, you don't have to watch all of them. If you don't watch the TV series, you aren't going to have giant gaping holes in the story if you only watch the movies. And vice versa. They are completely complimentary. Had Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. done this, hint hint Marvel, chosen to do this they would have been better off. I think it was the intention of Agents to do that, but they certainly feel like two separate entities desperate for connection, rather than one cohesive story.

But Jay Baruchel really is Hiccup. He embodies that character so perfectly with his voice, its so expressive, and it just gives the character so much life. The relationship with Hiccup and Toothless has deepened. Its been a few years since the last movie, and that time is reflected in everything, including the entire Viking life. It is a beautiful story.

America Ferrera is back as Astrid, Hiccup's love interest. Their relationship has changed as well with the time that has passed. Gerard Butler is back as Hiccup's father. After the events of the last film, and having almost lost his son, has really softened. Now instead of seeing Hiccup's quirks as weaknesses, he sees them as strengths, and he wants Hiccup to eventually become the clan Chieftain,even though Hiccup is adamantly against this. Cate Blanchett joins the cast as Hiccup's mother. We all thought she was dead, but she isn't. That fact was something that they wanted to keep under wraps but came out before WonderCon. Although she didn't raise her son, he has grown up to be very much like her. One comedy relief additions, not because of anything he does, but instead because of another character's infatuation with him, is Kit Harrington. He starts off as a villain, and turns into a dragon sympathizer when he is kidnapped and is shown another aspect of dragon life. “You know nothing Jon Snow.” is very applicable here. In fact all of the voices of the original have returned. I'm a big fan of this, I know many are big fans when everyone returns, but its not surprising. If it works, why change it.

New worlds are explored, discoveries about the past are made, and heart break is felt. The saddest thing is that this movie is not going to get the type of buzz, that a Captain America or X-Men film will get, it'll be seen as just kids fare. Don't get me wrong, X-Men Days of Future Past did well and fixed some of the mistakes of the past movies but HTTYD2 is on a whole other level. It's bright enough and fun enough that children will enjoy it, but the plotting is meaty enough that adults will enjoy the intelligence. The animators did such a good job bringing these gigantic creatures to life, with all the different ways that they fly around, even the variety of dragons, and their individual characteristics.

We had a chance to screen it early, and when the movie was over, I was ready to watch it again. It was that good. How To Train Your Dragon 2 is highly recommended.


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