Movie Reviews

Published on June 12th, 2014 | by Barnetty Kusher


How To Train Your Dragon 2

In 2010, the most unlikely Viking proved that dragons and humans can co-exist in the first How To Train Your Dragon film. Set five years after the original movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens up on the Village of Berk where Vikings and dragons have developed a fond relationship. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), the nerdy chieftain’s son, is now a few years older and has made himself a winged suit and spends his days soaring the skies with his beloved dragon, Toothless. This film brings together the original gang of friends, Astrid (America Ferrera), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), and twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut (Kristen Wiig and TJ Miller). Still at odds with his expectations, Hiccup’s father Stoick (Gerard Butler) demands that he begins the preparations and training to follow in his footsteps and become chief of their Village. This is not the future Hiccup sees for himself, he and Toothless flee the Village and explore the world and stumble upon a cave full of dragons and encounter a Mysterious Dragon Rider (Cate Blanchett), with a similar affinity for dragons. Hiccup has realized that war still exists between dragons and men beyond the borders of his Village. He attempts to negotiate peace with dragon-hunter Drago (Djimon Hounsou), who is threatening to invade the village with his army.

Writer/director Dean DeBlois helms the reins on this one; he has opened up the story without losing the tone of the original. The true delight is in the details, the visual effects are stunning; a prime example of how much computer generated animation has progressed in such a short amount of time. From the diverse landscapes to the design of the characters were absolutely breathtaking. Even the most minute details, such as the texture from the armor, to the scales on the dragons, even the battles scars on the soldiers are so vividly expressed, they assisted in creating the most dramatic and heartfelt moments.

The overall theme has matured from the first film with a continually surprising plot. In the first go around, Hiccup learned to be himself; in this installment Hiccup is taught to become a better version of himself when those unbreakable bonds are tested, and the line between good vs. evil is skewed.

I wouldn’t say there is much training in the sequel, however there is still a wonderful message of friendship, love, and loyalty. Some of the material may be a little too dark, and there were moments that spent way too much time developing the characters which can be pretty taxing for young children.

A worthy follow up….

4 out of 5

Second review by

Jennifer Fiduccia

saw it in 3D with an almost 6 year old, a 12 year old and a 15 year old, all boys.

All the boys loved the movie. It held their attention and stirred their emotion (all 3 cried a little – truth be told… So did I!)

It might be a little too scary or a little too sad for that set of young children (possibly 6 and under) that is on the more sensitive side.

I would venture to say that this sequel might just be even better than the original, which was great.

The story has many of the same characters as the original, and adds a few new ones as well.

The story starts in Hiccups’ hometown of Berk, but the story quickly expands, as does the ground covered by Hiccup and Toothless.

There is a villain that turns to a better path, and a villain that stays the course as a villain.

The relationship between father Stoic & son Hiccup are deepened and rounded out, as is Hiccup and Astrids’ relationship.

A mysterious Dragon Rider is introduced, and is a source of a major story line.

There is heart ache and tragedy and happiness and fun.

I feel like saying too much about what happens will give too much away… I would hate to do that, because I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie, and I went in without having seen or read anything but the preview trailers shown on regular TV.

The 3D effects were great and the flying sequences were just really neat and lifelike, without the queasy feeling I often get from flying sequences in 3D.

Watch the Dragons closely. The animation is phenomenal, and watching them interact with facial expressions and body language is truly a high point for this film.

There isn’t anything I didn’t like about this film.

I will give away one specific scene, which is this: at one point, Hiccup draws a map of where he has explored with Toothless, and the Dragon Rider expands his map by four-fold at least.

I truly TRULY hope that this means that there will be more Dragon movies to come, and that they are each as good as this one!

I give this movie a whole hearted
5 out of 5 stars!

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