Film #133: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

httyd2Director: Dean Deblois
Language: English
Length: 102 minutes
Watched on: 22 Dec 2014

I didn’t realize, but there’s been almost five years since the original How to Train Your Dragon movie came out back in 2010. I was still in university when I saw that movie in York’s City Screen cinema. It’s no wonder, then, that I can’t really remember the plot. However, I do particularly remember it being an unexpected delight.

This sequel just came out last year, and it was the second of four movies I watched on the plane on the way back to the UK in December. As such, I was mildly sleepy, and it was on a tiny screen.

The story takes place in the same setting as the previous one. In this story, humans and dragons are now friends, engaging in such activities as races and competitions around the village. The main character has developed a kind of symbiotic relationship with his dangerous-but-cute dragon Toothless. I think they’re both missing a leg or wing or something, meaning that both need the other’s help to move around efficiently.

The story is a bit flimsy and a little complex, and descends into a relatively boring bout between two super-dragons towards the end. It’s probably worth not spoiling the second-act twist, as it managed to surprise me a little when I watched it. But aside from that it’s pretty predictable and follows a standard arc.

I wouldn’t say the characters really developed significantly in the movie, which is shame when comparing it to the previous one. Also, I’m pretty sure that the father’s arc is almost exactly the same as his arc in the first movie – basically, he’s stubborn.

The set pieces also left something to be desired. The film is visually very nice, but I couldn’t help but feel there was no continuity between different areas that the characters visit. So much of the movie takes place around sheer cliff faces that it’s difficult to determine whether it’s all on one island, or if the characters are all flying their dragons over to another island. That’s not to say all set pieces; there were a few very good ones in there, but much of it was uninspiring.

And for all the negative points, it’s not like I disliked this movie, by any means. It’s just not up to expectations.


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