How to Train Your Dragon 2 1.0 stars

How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie poster

"With Vikings riding dragons," proclaims the clever young Viking Hiccup at the outset, "the world just got a whole lot bigger." "Bigger" pretty much describes this sequel to the 2010 sleeper hit - as opposed to, say, "different." Once again, our hero must convince a hardheaded hulk about the right way to deal with dragons. Then, it was his dad ("Kill 'em!"); now, it's your basic barbarian conqueror ("Master 'em!"). Once again, he must reconcile with a parent along the way. Then, it was his dad; now, it's his mom. Once again, Hiccup's spunky, speedy dragon Toothless must face off against a much larger beastie. Then, it was the tyrannical Red Death; now...well, let's pretend there's room for surprise, shall we? There are admirable bits: some stabs at Nature vs. Nurture with regard to both people and dragons, an early flight sequence that may have you grabbing your armrest. The animated water looks great; the people, less so. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


John Reader June 12, 2014 @ 1:28 p.m.

Way to invalidate yourself. This movie is fantastic! To say that this film is just much of the same as the previous is completely missing the point. The world that they created here is expanded, and more exciting. It's consistent with the previous movie, but more developed.


Matthew Lickona June 14, 2014 @ 10:08 a.m.

I think you may be confusing "developed" with "the same but bigger and more complicated but emptier." One example: Hiccup's reconciliation with his mother could have been a point of significant drama: here he has found the source of the kind of person he is, but that source willingly stayed away from home for his entire life. Instead, 20 years of abandonment are brushed away in a moment. Another: Hiccup and Astrid's relationship could have matured/factored in. Instead, she's an empty bookend at the outset and ending. In fact, the whole crew of Hiccup's peers matters not a whit here. More spectacle and less heart, that's all.


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