Film Review – How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

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Title – How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Director – Dean DeBlois (Lilo and Stitch)

Cast – (Voices of) Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristin Wiig, Kit Harrington, Djimon Hounsou

Plot – Although some have learnt to live in peace with dragons, Hiccup (Baruchel) and his faithful dragon Toothless discover that not all harbor such views as they come across Drago (Hounsou) a mad man intent on capturing all dragons and destroying any who lay in his wake. When Hiccup meets the mysterious Valka (Blanchett) he will uncover secrets about the dragon world he never thought possible.

 “With Vikings on the backs of dragons, the world just got a whole lot bigger”

Review by Eddie on 10/02/2015

A visually spectacular and thoroughly fun CGI movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy follow up to its inspired predecessor and a movie made absolutely for those young and those young at heart thanks to its brisk pacing, imaginative design and witty yet emotionally resonate script.

Dreamworks original HTTYG was a surprise smash hit that not only made a handy buck for its studio but was well received by critics and audiences alike. The first Dragon was a real blast thanks to its abundance of charming visuals, energetic voice work and sense of adventure and it makes me happy to report that all those elements are well and truly back for Hiccup and Toothless’s second instalment and there are consistent moments throughout the movie that will bring a great big smile to the face of all and maybe even a few moments sad reflection. It’s great to see a CGI movie make such fine use of a script that appeals to the child in all of us and will no doubt thrill children of all ages thanks to its epic nature.

Flying through the air on the back of a dragon or falling through the clouds feels incredibly vibrant and real once more in this adventure and the stylish aspect of the films production no doubt benefited from renowned DOP Roger Deakin’s assistance in crafting the films set pieces. What makes all these elements even more joyous however is the films ability to craft an interesting and effective story around all these dragons and key to the film’s success no doubt, lies within its beating heart and it’s a real credit to the filmmakers that first and foremost the story portrays something we’re actually invested in. In an age where animated films try so hard to be hip or current it’s refreshing to see Dragon mix the fun with the serious in such a splendid manner.

A hugely enjoyable ride (sometimes quite literally), How to Train Your Dragon 2 is easily one of last year’s best CGI movies and one of the most entertaining movies full stop. This is one of those rare children’s films that parents the world over won’t be dreading each time their child requests to put it on for the umpteenth time. I for one am looking forward to Hiccup and Toothless’s next journey into the exciting dragon filled world.

4 flaming swords out of 5

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21 responses to “Film Review – How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

  1. Totally agree with you. It has that epic feel that is usually reserved for older kids and adult movies. I have a few issues with some of the voice performances but the villain is great, battle scenes complex and the flying took my breath away. Gorgeous.

  2. To me, it is the best Dreamworks franchise, and the second movie was even better than the first one. I am looking forward to the next one.

  3. I thought it was a brilliant movie and as you stated possibly the best cgi movie from last year.

    The animation, story and character was all exceptional – there’s a lot of charm. Not a whole lot original you can do with a bad guy other than be evil – but the story with the alphas kept things fresh with toothless etc..

    My big question is – what actually kept this back from a better score?

    • I don’t reckon it’s a flawless film man, something missing here to stop it from a higher score, perhaps at times it’s a little generic and maybe the finale was a little disappointing?

      Glad you enjoyed it to though, I must admit not many CGI movies have done much for me recently but this one just felt so fresh and fun.
      E

      • Is their a movie that actually exists that has no flaws?

        If there is im yet to see it!

        Plenty of great films start to finish that are worthy of a 5 star must see – but they are still not perfect and without flaws.

      • A true statement man, some flaws are just more glaring than others perhaps?

        Some films I would say are as close to perfect as they get (The Godfather, Shawshank, Jaws etc.)

        I’d be interested to know what you’d give this animated gem?
        E

  4. Took the words right out of my mouth. I watched the first HTTYD with my one year old and thanked the stars he loved it. Nowadays it’s all trains like Thomas and Chuggington. I wonder which movie he’ll adore next? HTTYD2 worked quite well at first…and then my aunt bought him the Polar Express. (Please, give me back the dragons!!)

  5. I’m glad to see people on here giving some love to this film. I’ve read loads of poor reviews and I thought it was a great sequel that actually delivered something new rather than being a generic follow-up.

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