VIDEO: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) Review Roundup

Joey’s review:

Animated Heroine’s review:

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Joey and the Animated Heroine present their different takes on the DreamWorks sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2.

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  • Muthsarah

    Yeah, total agreement. Actually, the same kinda held for the first movie – when it’s about a boy and his dragon, or exploring what makes dragons tick, or showing us the development of the characters since the first, or just taking us by the hand and flying us all around, it’s a great movie. But when there’s plot and stuff that needs doing for three-act-structural needs and climaxes and token conflict, it’s just boring. This movie’s first 2/3rds were, to me, clearly superior to the first 2/3rds of the first movie, while the ending felt basically the same. So, while overall this is the better movie, it’s also the more disappointing, what with the steeper drop-off at the end. I’d be a bit more generous than you with the grading, but out of nine movies I’ve seen so far this year, this is only the third-best, and it’s unlikely to medal. It’s solidly good, with some SPECTACULAR bits – the introduction of Hiccup’s mother, the first scenes at the dragon nest, and Stoik’s reaction were PERFECT, and more impressive than any single scene in Frozen or Lego Movie. Then, it seemed clear they had run out of time to be original and went back to work making another boilerplate mass-entertainment product. Formula is just the worst.

    I can see where they were going with Drago. Can’t just have another giant dragon as the villain, that’d be too repetitive. But evil (black-clad) warlords are boring too. I’da been happier if they found some way to hold onto the secret of Hiccup’s mother a lil’ longer. Let that be the last-act reveal. Take the place of the typical big battle. Maybe have her gone a lil’ crazy from the lack of human contact and/or not recognize Hiccup at all. I mean….she can control dragons too. Kinda. No need for big, shallow battles (you can tell how low the stakes are in these things when so many people/dragons are trying to kill each other and so few actually die or even get visibly hurt, such that they have to make a big deal about any who do). But I don’t wanna hold the movie to an twist that coulda been even darker than the rather impressive one they did make. There were kids bawling in the theatre. Made me smile to think movies are still made that can do that.

    8/10

    EDIT: Although I thought the Ruffnut thing was pretty funny. Sad that she was the only supporting character that had the kind of character expansion (modest as it was) that I expect to see from good sequels. Shame how they ignored Astrid in particular, she was handled fairly well in the first one.