View Full Version : How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Dean DeBlois)

06-15-2014, 04:56 PM

Director: Dean DeBlois

imdb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1646971/?ref_=nv_sr_2)

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/scottmendelson/files/2014/04/hr_How_to_Train_Your_Dragon_2_ 6.jpg

06-15-2014, 04:57 PM
I didn't think it was as good as the first, but still an overall solid movie.

06-15-2014, 05:22 PM
I was VERY surprised by how good the first one was. Dreamworks hasn't had a stellar animation catalogue (IMO) so I wasn't expecting much.

06-15-2014, 05:39 PM
What happened here? I was all ready for this to be a step up from the (excellent) first in maturity and complexity. Lots of positive reviews praising its depth and "darkness." Technical brilliance aside (and it really is), this was a step back. They tried to accomplish too much and ended up bouncing from place to place like a stone skipping across the surface of a lake, barely touching each point of contact for very long. Baruchel isn't really up to the weight he's asked to deliver vocally. The two big omg moments Stoick's death and the alpha's death fall surprisingly, sadly, flat. (There's not even a fucking sound effect when the alpha dies; he just gets stuck and plops over. Moving on, I guess. And Stoick would have been fried to a crisp taking a hit like that. They painted themselves into a corner in wanting to portray big, serious, deadly moments yet are not able to actually show them with any weight.) A lot of the relative subtlety of the first is also gone. It's like they became too self-aware and are trying too hard with this one. And where's the conflict? What is the actual conflict here? I can barely discern one that has much substance. I didn't really care about Drago, though I think the "fear vs. earning respect" theme was fine and handled well enough I suppose.

One of the biggest character elements gets several mentions and almost NO resolution (Toothless learning to fly well enough on his own without a rider/guide/helper; isn't that a major character development important in many ways to both Hiccup and Toothless? Hiccup could surely engineer something to lock the tail flap to a permanent position. This whole thing registered strongly with me but just fades away.). And the trope about mind control and fighting against your best friend was a little tired. Gah...I just wanted this to be so good. It's a credit to the rest of the movie's overall beauty and wonder that it works sort of okay at all. I can't really give it a YAY or NAY. It's right in the middle for me. Some emotional moments worked for me like they were supposed to, but overall I came away rather sad. Got too hyped up I guess.

EDIT: Sorry for the bevy of spoiler tags.

06-15-2014, 08:27 PM
I'm bummed - our local distributors have all but stopped showing un-dubbed versions of animated films, because most of their income comes from children, or more precisely - parents who'll take kids to ANYTHING animated.:frustrated:

06-16-2014, 07:28 PM
Borderline yay, less okay than the okayier original, but still okay enough to be... okay.

Henry Gale
06-18-2014, 06:39 PM
Also definitely thought this was good, but not quite as well-rounded as the first.

It has such an insane, rapid-fire pace where every new scene basically means one major development switching up the dynamic of the story. There was honestly a point that I'd lost all sensible track of where we might've been in the story and worried it could be over, and obviously wouldn't have been as satisfied as how it actually did. After Stoick's demise and Drago took all the Dragons to Berk, I really thought they were going to go completely Empire Strikes Back with things and end it on that note.

It feels very Kung Fu Panda 2-ish, but even that movie expanded its world in significant ways that made it seem like more exciting things were to come all while serving up an unexpectedly strong, moving story that operated completely differently from the first. HTTYD2 feels like another very solid entry in a (hopefully) bigger and more interesting story, while feeling less strong as a standalone piece.

It's gorgeous too watch (especially in 3D, like the first), very concisely told, a lot of fun even just on a level of pure scale and being with these characters going from place to place, and all around undeniably well-made, but it kind of finishes the same way as the (ultimately better) first one, where it feels like it's holding something back for later towards the end. Last time, the stuff that came before was more instantly fulfilling, maybe because there wasn't the idea of an ongoing franchise needing to pick up the slack of unfinished business.

The best I can say is that it reminded me just how much I was surprisingly emotionally affected I was by the original, which I haven't revisited since, and made me want to go back and watch it once I got home. I'm sure all of these movies will play even better when they're completing the story two summers from now, or even a couple more after that.

*** / 7.4

07-02-2014, 05:25 AM
I agree with Wryan's take. Kudos to the filmmakers for being willing to go to dark places. But boo-urns for not knowing what to do once you get there. Hiccup doesn't seem that much different in the film's final scene. Which is weird, because he's been through a lot.

07-11-2014, 08:47 AM
I enjoyed the world building of the movie's first half, but thought that it started to stumble as it developed its principal story arc. The principal action sequences came off as a bit derivative to me, though I can imagine that they would have been fine for younger audiences who hadn't seen as many of the other films that use similar sequences.

On a side note, my show had an intermission and that hurt my enjoyment of the film. Coming back from the intermission I'd lost a bit of the suspension of disbelief and world-immersion that the first half of the film had built.

It's a nay for me, but more of a meh. I didn't really dislike the film, but didn't really like it either, and was a bit disappointed compared to expectations and the first film.

08-01-2014, 02:04 PM
Lovely film (★★★★★) but a sinister message appears to manifest itself in the film's central theme.

The film appears to posit that pursuing peace with your enemies is folly, and that the only way to achieve "peace" is to impose your military might on other communities and make them submit.

The film's closing monologue says as much.

So is this kiddy indoctrination?

Or am I just reading to far into this?

Philip J. Fry
12-07-2016, 07:51 AM