Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review 274: "How to Train Your Dragon 2"

From the studio that made
How to Train Your Dragon!

How Does One Train a Dragon?

      How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the 2014 sequel to the 2010 original film. It is also the latest film for Dreamworks Animation. The film is based once again on a book series written by Cressida Cowell. The film is both written and directed by Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch). The film follows Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), as he, along with his dragon Toothless, attempts to stop Drago Bloodfist (Djimon Hounsou) from stealing the dragons of Berk, despite his father's (Gerard Butler) objections. However, when things take a turn for the worst, Hiccup finds himself reunited with his long-lost mother (Cate Blanchett) and facing a war. With the aid of his friends and their dragons, including Astrid (America Ferrera), Gobber (Craig Ferguson), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Tuffnut (T.J. Miller) and Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), along with a former soldier of Drago's (Kit Harington), Hiccup and Toothless get ready for another fight.

That certainly happens.
Drawing a Blank

      I think How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a great movie. Perhaps one of the best films of 2014 so far. After seeing it last week, I immediately wanted to get all the episodes of the series animated show and watch them all, just so I could be in this world a bit longer. But, I didn't and now, for various reasons, here I am a week later, with a problem. HTTYD 2 is a film I planned on giving a perfect score and I can't remember a damn think about it. The first film was very much the same way. I loved it and just as quickly forgot about it. The film is great. The characters in the film are easily the best Dreamworks Animation have created. They all work well together and seem like actual thinking, living people, not defined by one sole characteristic or unchanging from sequel to sequel. Their world is interesting and beautifully animated by some really talented people. The film itself contains a moment so shocking for a kids film I almost thought it was a mistake.
      And yet, I don't feel anything toward this movie. With every other film I give perfect scores to, I might not remember everything exactly, but I remember how the film made me feel, how much I wanted to stay watching that film. And yet here, as much as I liked the film, it now barely registers as one I saw. At the end of the year I'll have to remind myself I even saw this film, let alone that I loved it. And I don't know why that is. Sure, the film is a bit slow to get going. It's not that it goes for more quiet and dark scenes than most Dreamworks film, no that part of the reason I like it. Most likely, it's that the story just isn't that great. The twist is great, the characters and setting and animation is great. But the story isn't that interesting, is a bit all over the place with a few to many unrelated threads and is a bit slow-moving. Yeah, let's go with that.

Just not feeling it.
The Verdict

      How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a movie I really wish I liked more than I did. The characters are great and interesting it a wonderful, beautifully animated world extremely well and yet I can't seem to remember all that much about the film  or why it made me like it so much to begin with. If only the story were a bit better and maybe this would be a different story. How to Train Your Dragon 2 gets 5 stars out of 6.

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