Writer: Casey Chong
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.5 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “How To Train Your Dragon”
Back in 2010, DreamWorks Animation' "How To Train Your Dragon" had achieved a tremendous level of success that any movie studio could ever dream of; a huge box office hit worldwide, a near-universal praise from critics and viewers, a strong fanbase and a number of award recognitions including two Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. No doubt it's one of the most beloved animated movies ever made in recent years so it's just a matter of time before the inevitable sequel of "How To Train Your Dragon 2" is looking to soar again in cinemas everywhere.
In this sequel, the Viking clan from the island of Berk is now living in harmony with the dragon population after had they managed to tame the creatures in the first movie. The aging Viking leader, Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler) is hoping that his now grown-up son, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) will take over someday as head of the clan. But Hiccup isn't the kind of person who likes to shoulder big responsibility like his father. Instead, he is more interested to explore new territories with his pet dragon Toothless. During the course of his journey, he encounters Hiccup's long-lost mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) as well as the mysterious dragon master named Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou).
Unlike the conventional approach of "How To Train Your Dragon", returning writer-director Dean DeBlois is ambitious enough to expand his storyline beyond the usual feel-good vibe that preceded the first movie. Here, DeBlois goes one step further by introducing a darker tone towards the climactic third act. The result is a refreshing change of pace, even though DeBlois' bold attempt isn't entirely successful.
Still, the sequel remains a triumph for its technical achievements. Likewise, the movie is visually spectacular and eye-catching, while the action - particularly the flying sequences - is more epic this time around. Fans of the first movie will also be delighted with the sequel's abundance of more colourful breed of dragons.
As for the voice talents, Jay Baruchel again delivers an engaging performance as Hiccup. His buddy relationship with his pet dragon Toothless is as charming as ever. Djimon Hounsou is commanding enough as the movie's main villain, Drago Bludvist while Gerard Butler is similarly remarkable as Hiccup's gruff father, Stoick. America Ferrera has her worthwhile moments reprising her role as Hiccup's girlfriend Astrid, even though there's a nagging feeling that her character is greatly reduced in this sequel. Kristen Wiig gets to flex her excellent comic timing this time around with her returning role as Ruffnut, at which she earns the movie's biggest laugh in the form of a complicated love between her, Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Snoutlout (Jonah Hill) and Eret (Kit Harrington). Last but not least is Cate Blanchett, who truly excels in her classy voice performance as Hiccup's long-lost mother Valka. One scene that features her reunion with her husband Stoick is particularly heartwarming at which they share a sweet moment together as they singing to each other.
Despite some of the flaws that are apparent where the plot of the movie is concerned, "How To Train Your Dragon 2" remains a satisfying sequel that will please both fans of the original as well as all animation lovers in general.
Cinema Online, 05 June 2014