How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Review

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a rare follow-up that not only lives up to the hype of the first movie but also manages to surpass all my expectations.

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The opening sequence will get you up to speed if you missed (or forgot) what happened in the first movie. The first film was a thrill-seeking ride about the Viking village, Berk and how humans stopped hunting dragons and developed relationships with them. The sequel is just as captivating, except everything is up-sized; the story is more engaging, there’s a load of characters and the animation is better. The first movie’s visuals seemed a little off, possibly due to some production issues, but personally I feel the sequel is visually flawless.

The first movie focused on a bond between human and pet dragon. The sequel shifts to an all-out action movie.  Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are all about exploring and discovering new places together; but that doesn’t mean it’s a mindless popcorn cruncher of a flick. Just like in the first film, this one emotionally shines. Actually, this sequel is a bit more emotional and far more intense too.

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Director Dean DeBlois has taken some chances with the story, deepening and darkening the tone with subplots about family relationships, prejudice and sacrifice. Some of the imagery is intense—the “alpha” dragons look like they sprung out of a J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) novel—and may be a bit traumatic for toddlers. kids 6 and up who have grown up alongside the franchise will enjoy the more seriousness of part two, though they — and their younger siblings — will be glad to know that there are still plenty hilarious, silly and “stupid” scenes, on that note: one of my favorite moments in the movie happens in the background: While the human characters are talking plot, the dragons are sniffing each other.

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