Reel Reviews: Hiccup and Toothless ride again

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless keep the peace in How To Train Your Dragon 2. - Dreamworks Animation
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless keep the peace in How To Train Your Dragon 2.
— image credit: Dreamworks Animation

Five years ago, the chief’s son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) was able to make peace amongst dragons and humans on the island of Berk. Now everyone has a pet dragon and riding them has become a part of the Berk culture.

While Berk’s youth have fun taking part in dragon races, Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless, fly far out over the waters, charting unmapped territories. When these excursions lead them to a series of secret ice caves, Hiccup discovers hundreds of wild dragons, a mysterious dragon rider and an army amassing to capture all dragons, placing them under the control of an evil warlord.

Hiccup and Toothless must do what they can to keep the peace, without bringing war.

We say, “It’s entertaining, but with no practical advice, dragons remain unruly.”

TAYLOR: This film is as cute, fun and exciting as the first, with just a bit of drama thrown in, so you can check if your kids are paying attention and are capable of emotion. I happened to see the film in a packed house with my wife, gratefully in 2D. (I’ll be damned if I’m giving you three bucks for what amounts to a hindrance.) It also happened to be Father’s Day, with a great number of doting dads in attendance. The wee ones in the audience, not at all curious about why all these adult Vikings are Scottish yet their children are not, simply ate this tale up. By the time the drama came around, I heard quite a fair bit of crying. Fear not, by the end, the children were cheering, with good doses of deserved hearty laughter in between.

I found the film to be perfectly acceptable on all levels and I especially enjoyed that it was a film about how nations can avoid war by simply taking out the solo warmonger and only then, as a last resort.

I was entertained, mildly amused and found the film quite pretty to look at. It might be the best animated movie of the year.

HOWE: I don’t think it was the best animated movie this year. The Lego Movie was pretty fantastic, but saying that, Dragon 2 was a great treat on Father’s Day with my little boy Fenin. It’s as good as the first one, if not a little better. The storyline is very good and could easily stand by itself, even if you haven’t seen the first one. It kept me entertained throughout and I thought the animation was top quality. We watched it in 3D, and again I don’t know if that is needed in all movies, as they don’t seem to take full advantage of that feature.

FENIN: I loved it. It was funny, but the sad part was when the big dragon –oops, I better not say– but the happy part was when I saw all the dragons.

– Taylor gives How to Train Your Dragon 2 4 prosthetic tails out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3.5 detachable utensils out of 5.

– Fenin gives it 5 toothlesses out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film critics based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, runs every Friday and Sunday in The Morning Star.

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