Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie still

Cliched and lacks magic, but thoroughly fun to watch

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an epic expansion from the first film (2010), introducing many new characters and more importantly, cooler dragons. The now-grown up Hiccup and his dragon Toothless have been experimenting new flying and self-defensive skills while exploring new territories. One day they fly themselves into some bad guys, lots of new dragons and Hiccup’s long lost mother. Since the end of war between vikings and dragons 5 years ago, Berk has learnt to accept dragons as part of their village, Hiccup is being pressured by his dad Stoick to replace him as the new chief, and everyone is living their lives happily, but little that they know that an old merciless foe of Berk still lurks around, and he’s hunting for all dragons.

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No one in the voice cast has the chance to really standout but they all delivered just enough for their roles, with Stoick still have Gerard Butler’s Scottish accent while the rest sounds like typical modern Americans. The film is cliched as many would’ve expected with a not-so-refreshing plot, and the fast-pacing causes the emotional moments seem forced and obligatory. All that could well be the consequences of the absence of both Chris Sanders (director and co-write of the first film) and Will Davies (co-writer of the first film). However, this allowed more creative space for Dean DeBlois (lone director-writer this time) to please us with his own vision. The awesome colourful visuals, lively dragons, light humour and epic action do more than enough to make this sequel worthwhile.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie still meme

Other than Toothless, the other dragons don’t necessarily look as cute but they behave like adorable innocent puppies and it’s just hilarious to see them in the background doing something funny when the human characters are having a dialogue. The final act and ending may be predictable from miles away with no surprising twist or real moral value, but it’s something that most audience wouldn’t be displeased to see when there’s so much activities and action to go with it. This sequel may not be as “magical” or “complete” as the first film, it may not even be very memorable, but in overall, it’s highly entertaining and has cool factors (this is rare in American animated films these days) that should appeal to all ages and genders.

What I would’ve named the film: “Dragons Behave Like Dogs 2”

Censorship in Malaysia: Clean cartoon, nothing needed to be cut at all.

To watch in 3D: The screening for the media was in 2D, but judging by the visuals and positioning of everything in sequences, I believe it’d be great to watch this in IMAX 3D.

Second opinion: Contrary to my review, my girlfriend absolutely loved the film and said that she was very emotionally engaged by it.

Verdict: Fans and general audience of all ages wouldn’t be disappointed by this sequel.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

How To Train Your Dragon 2 movie poster large malaysiaBased on: Cressida Cowell’s children books “How to Train Your Dragon”
Rated: P13
Genre: Adventure, comedy, animation
Running Time: 102 minutes
Director-writer: Dean DeBlois
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrara

Malaysia Release Date: June 11th 2014
Local Distributor: 20th Century Fox Malaysia
Studio: DreamWorks Animation

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