Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Movie Review: "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014)

Movie"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
Director: Dean DeBlois
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
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We return to the small coastal viking village of Berk. Berk is not like most viking town because they have dragons! These dragons are kept by the vikings as friends and pets thanks to the efforts and teachings of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), the son of Stoic (Gerard Butler), chief of Berk. Stoic is starting to think it's time for him to step down as chief and wants to appoint Hiccup to take his place. Hiccup is unsure he wants all of this responsibility and is still trying to find himself. Hiccup spends his days frequently flying around on his Night Fury dragon named Toothless to explore uncharted areas. During one of these outings, Hiccup comes across a group of dragon trappers who are capturing specimens for a man named Drago (Djimon Hounsou), who says he controls all dragons and is hellbent on grabbing all the power he can. Hiccup must find a way to stop Drago and save the dragons with help of his father and friends, including a new, mysterious person known as The Dragon Rider (Cate Blanchett). 


This is another worthy sequel! That makes two so far this summer, which is extremely rare. "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is just as great as the original story. It is still fun and exciting, but also has some scenes that will tug at your heartstrings. The addition of several new characters makes for an interesting. First, there's Eret (Kit Harrington), a dragon trapper who is provides great comic relief throughout the movie and ends up the butt of many misfortunes. Along the way, he finds himself questioning what is right and wrong in the world of keeping versus catching dragons. Drago is an awesome villain who is steadfast in his ways and doesn't seem to be able to be reasoned with. And of course, The Dragon Rider, AKA Valka, AKA Hiccup's mom, is more than she seems and is one with the dragons.

The whole theme of self-discovery and finding a balance between your traits is a central focus in this sequel. It's interesting to note that Hiccup has qualities of both his mother and his father: he is patient and kind like his mom (which she is to a fault), but is also brave when he needs to be and puts others before himself like his dad (which Stoic does to a fault). Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Drago, who cannot and will not compromise what he believes and what he thinks he knows for anyone or anything, regardless of who he hurts. The message we saw here was that not just kids, but people in general, should not be afraid to admit when they are wrong, and that it's okay to be strong AND gentle, as well as compromising AND unwavering in their beliefs. Finding the balance is what's important. People should always challenge the impossible, even when it looks like there's no way to win.

On the down-side, Jay Baurchel's voice didn't get any less annoying in 4 years. All in all, just as good as its predecessor, and we cannot wait for the third installment in this series!

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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