Movie Reviews

'How to Train Your Dragon 2': Soaring higher into sequel success

By Wong KerMovies - 11 June 2014 9:00 AM | Updated 5:04 PM

'How to Train Your Dragon 2': Soaring higher into sequel success

Our Rating

4/5 Stars

It is not easy to do a sequel to a commercial success without diminishing its original strength and impact.

Some productions are blatant attempts to milk the cash cow, recooking gags that have become quite stale and tedious. 

Animated sequels such as ‘Ice Age: The Meltdown’ (2006), ‘Shrek the Third’ (2007) and ‘Cars 2’ (2011) all have about the same appeal as a reheated inflight meal. 

The immense success of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’(2010), with its 10 Annie Awards – including Best Animated Feature – makes it a tough act to follow, but Dean DeBlois doesn’t disappoint. 

In true 3D artistry, DeBlois and his animators take us on an amazing journey over the great expanse of the Nordic sky, through battles lost and won, and into revelations both devastating and beautiful.

Every well-crafted action sequence is set to put audiences at the tip of their 3D glasses, and with more characters, more inventions, more dragons, more battles and more complex plot developments, ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ sets a new standard to a sequel done right. 

DRAGON TRAINER’S GROWING PAINS 

Five years have passed and we return to the peaceful, dragon-loving Viking community on Berk.

Leading dragon trainer, adventure seeker and inventor Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his trusted and simply adorable dragon companion Toothless are as close as we have last seen them.

Together, the two explore and discover uncharted lands and new territories. However, freedom is a topic of contention for a maturing Hiccup who ignores the wishes of his ageing father Stoick (Gerard Butler) to gradually take over the responsibility of running Berk. 

Soon, his idyllic adolescence and all family disagreements come to a halt when he encounters two unknown dragon masters, Valka (Cate Blanchett) and Drago (Djimon Hounsou), who each have their own intentions with regards to the dragon race. 

One of the successes of the original film was the way the dragons are depicted, not just how it was beautifully animated, but by also making them relatable as our companions.

WINNING HEARTS

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ continues to build this repertoire of dragon personality wonderfully by imbuing Toothless with the prancing playfulness of our feline friends and the loyalty of a dog, while winning hearts with the dignity and majesty of a lion.

Despite that, Toothless and his kind still exhibit a unique reptilian way and a mythical quality. More than anything, this sequel highlights the complex emotional bond between man and beast.

The dragons are not the only ones getting a personality boost. The Vikings of Berk have also been updated with a more mature approach to life, love and humour.

The movie may have it kept mostly family-friendly with its good humour and feel-good moments, but DeBlois appears to push beyond predictable and childish PG action with moving scenes of heartrending realisations and painful sacrifices.

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ ventures deeper, is cleverer and even darker than the average animated movie, entertaining a younger audience but connecting with the adults with more mature themes.

‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ opens in cinemas 12 June 2014

How To train Your Dragon 2

Movie Photos

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How To Train Your Dragon 2
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2

    (2014)
  • Rated
    PG /
    Genre
    Action, Adventure, Animation
  • Language
    Eng
  • (6 Reviews)