How To Train Your Dragon 2
Cert: PG / 102 mins / Dir. Dean DeBlois
Writer and director, Dean DeBlois has gone to a lot of trouble to craft this sequel as closely to its 2010 predecessor as he can; to the point where every scene centered between young Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless, feels like one of the best things you've ever seen, and all the others are surprisingly mediocre by comparison. That's not to say that HtTYD2 isn't a good film, but you get the feeling it could be even better with more attention paid to the other characters.
The only reservations I have about this second installment are the same as before; the character design of the humans isn't anywhere near as inspired (or inspiring) as that of the dragons, Jay Baruchel isn't particularly great casting as the central hero as his voice, while capable, just doesn't match that character design, and Gerard Butler somehow manages to make his own Scottish accent sound contrived and unconvincing. Oh, and this time Cate Blanchett demonstrates that she can't hold a Scottish accent either, even if her character has been living alone for 20 years.
But don't let my linguistical nit-picking spoil what is, for the most part, an astoundingly beautiful-looking and emotionally charged film. The father/son bonding from How To Train Your Dragon is replaced with a mother/son relationship (it's in the trailer, that's not a spoiler), and while in many films the reversal of themes could seem tacky or forced, it works very well here (even with the wandering accent of Cate). But if it's a boy and his dragon you've come for, you won't be disappointed. The bond between the two is built upon magnificently, and I think it's fair to say that Toothless represents some of the most expressive animation I've ever seen. It's just too bad they couldn't extend that to the humans. The 3D's fairly effective, but isn't a deal-breaker by any means.
As animated sequels go, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a firm-footed winner, although the linear plot might frustrate older members of the audience. Every bit as funny and charming as the original, it may not be an all-time classic, but will probably be one of the year's highlights.
Best avoided if you'll get annoyed by people with Scottish and American accents living on the same isolated, small island, somehow.
I imagine it does.
Cinema if your little ones want to go, otherwise it'll be just as good on DVD/BRD.
Only before the third film comes out, I suspect.
Didn't hear one.
During the opening dragon-race, is Tuffnut's facepaint a visual nod to the Clone Wars' Savage Opress?
No? Just me? Oh, okay then.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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