"With Vikings on the Backs of Dragons, the World Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger"
The better news is that this movie isn’t just a pretty face. The plot follows a logical progression from the first film; Hiccup, having won over the people of his village of Berk to his peaceful, innovative way of thinking, still feels constrained by his father (who still hasn’t worked out his communication issues from the first film) and is frustrated by his inability to make people view the world the way he does. Among other things, the film brings up the idea that some people can’t be reasoned with, and sometimes force is necessary to protect your own against aggressors, an interesting ideology to compliment the “make love not war” message the first movie brought to the table. This isn’t the only theme; there’s a lot going on in this film, such as Hiccup’s cheerful reunion with his mother, Valka (which has been spoiled for everyone now, thanks to the trailers), and all of the plot threads are nicely treated and, for the most part, woven very well together.
Now, the movie isn’t perfect. It does suffer a bit from Harry Potter Syndrome. By this I mean that our main character is pretty much the second coming of Christ. There’s great evil afoot and he’s the only one who can stop it. Everyone turns to him for guidance, and absolutely NONE of the supporting characters have anything to do besides provide the occasional comic relief or inspirational speech. The one exception to this is when Hiccup’s friends, in an attempt to rescue him, end up alerting our big bad to the fact that there might be an uprising happening, thereby CAUSING the main conflict to occur (thanks, Astrid). There’s been a bit of backlash on the internets concerning Valka and how she is sidelined once the plot gets rolling, but honestly, nobody else steps up to the plate either, so I can’t get too pissed off. As stated earlier, this movie has a LOT going on, and while it’s sad that character development is the first thing to go, there are a lot of characters. Luckily, Hiccup is an interesting enough character in his own right that he and Toothless can usually carry the movie fine.
This is a great movie for kids and adults, treading the line between cheerful and dark. Even in the sparsely populated theatre I sat in, certain scenes drew hearty rounds of applause. It’s exciting, at times gut-wrenching, and (dare I say it?) fully prepares me for a third installment which I will probably also go see. After all, can you really get enough of dragons?
A hearty pint of mead or ale should do you, but if you want to pay homage to our favorite dragon Toothless, perhaps consider this cocktail: the Black Dragon.
-Drink whenever someone's missing limb or disability is referenced.
-Drink whenever dragon taming takes place.
-Drink whenever ice or fire is spat by a dragon.
-Drink whenever someone lusts after another person.
-Drink when someone ignores advice, commands or repeated questioning.
This review was written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). How to Train Your Dragon 2 is produced by Dreamworks Animation and Mad Hatter Entertainment, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film is rated PG and runs 102 minutes.