“This is Berk. Life here is amazing. Dragons used to be a bit of a problem. But now they’ve all moved in,” said Hiccup in the beginning.
In 2010, a little Night Fury named Toothless, befriends a Viking boy, Hiccup, and soars through the sky—bringing new hype in cinema for dragons. Along with those serpents, How To Train Your Dragon surprisingly backs Dreamworks in their campaign of rivaling Disney and Pixar that year, although losing to Toy Story 3 in Oscar. In Summer of 2014, with the absence of Pixar films (only Planes 2, not a Pixar’s work, but rather DisneyToon’s), Toothless and Hiccup is invincible and unstoppable.
In the end of How To Train Your Dragon, Hiccup (voice acting by Jay Baruchel) achieves everything he dreams of—impressing his father Spoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), impressing his eventual lover Astrid (America Ferrera), and impressing the whole Berk. Now that he wins his father’s heart, Spoick prepares Hiccup to be the chief of Berk. Hiccup never finds this idea enlightening; as he finds no freedom in that. Having worked on his inventions better, Hiccup finds a new interest in cartography as he wanders around to find more dragons and document things.
Wandering around, Hiccup and Toothless find new threats coming from Eret, son of Eret (Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harrington), a dragon trapper hired by a man claiming to be the dragon master, Drago Bludvist (Djimon Honsou). It’s not over there; Hiccup also encounters a mysterious dragon rider, Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett), who claims to be someone from Hiccup’s past. Finding no turning back, every risk is now doubled for Hiccup and Toothless and the whole Berk.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a solid and well-paced sequel. It owns everything a sequel should be. Director Dean DeBlois keeps the action and the humor in a good balance. Yet, he seemingly works the best on the plot by adding depth to the emotion. Once we get into the story, we fast learns that it’s not merely a sequel or a bleak continuation of Hiccup’s journey, but it’s an integral fragment of his saga. Conflicts culminates to some extent, yet also limits the resolution. With the director’s statement to expand How To Train Your Dragon into, at least, a trilogy, HTTYD 2 is a fun part—with as much twist and turns as entertainment.
HTTYD 2 delivers multi-conflicts that result in more complicated subplots. The good thing is, every subplots is developed and finds clear resolution. The lame thing is, some conflicts come and go too fast. Yet, the colorful world of HTTYD and fancy design of dragons divert the lame part of this film. About the dragons, Toothless comes back with the gang and other dragons of Berk, but that’s not it; we can see a whole new dragons, like Stoick’s Stonecrusher and Valka’s Cloudjumper and Bewilderbeast, the alpha-dragon.
With a vast sequel, you cannot expect anything from How To Train Your Dragon (now a franchise), but other sequel(s) that goes deeper, larger, and more fantastic. Still, How To Train Your Dragon 2 leads the entertainment with emotion and humors (involving Eret the son of Eret and Ruffnut, most notably); proving its worth to Dreamworks.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Animation, Action, Adventure Running Time: 105 mins Directed by: Dean DeBlois Written by: Dean DeBlois based on Cressida Cowell’s novel Starred by: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Djimon Honsou, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kit Harrington
TRIVIA: D’you want to see the Encyclopedia of Dragons in How To Train Your Dragon 2? Click here!