How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) Poster

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9/10
Darker and more mature than the original, yet just as endearing and fun; amazing visuals
gogoschka-119 May 2014
Seeing the original 'How to Train Your Dragon' for the first time made me feel like a kid again and it has since become one of my all-time favorite films, so when I got a chance to see this, I was as much worried as I was excited. In the past, some of the films I have anticipated the most turned out to be the biggest disappointments, so I took a deep breath and tried to lower my expectations going in. I needn't have feared: I'm glad to report that Dean DeBlois has crafted a beautifully animated tale that loses nothing of its predecessor's sense of fun and adventure, while it enhances Hiccup's and Toothless' journey into an almost classic - and unexpectedly touching - "coming-of-age" story.

While still colourful, playful and visually all over the place (I mean that in a good way*), the tone of the sequel is noticeably darker and the predominant themes are more mature. The writers made some (for Hollywood movies) unusually daring decisions in having Hiccup face very tough realities in life; especially one about the danger of over-humanizing pets and forgetting about their animal nature. Small children had perhaps better stay away, since the film is also quite a bit scarier than the original. That's not saying that there isn't a lot of humour – but the wisecracks of Jonah Hill & Co. will most certainly be lost on the very young and are clearly targeted towards older children and teenagers.

*A word about the animation: This is among the most visually stunning animated films I have ever seen; at times, there is so much eye-popping spectacle on screen that you don't know where to focus anymore - this one definitely needs a second viewing.

My overall verdict: While the storyline may not be quite as straightforward as the original's, the well written, credible character development and the gorgeous visuals are more than satisfying. 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' could have played it safe by merely repeating the original's formula – it opted instead for the introduction of fascinating new characters while giving the ones we know more back-story and a chance to grow up and explore new territory. I would say that next to 'Days of Future Past', this is one of the best sequels Hollywood has produced in a very long time. 9 stars out of 10 (with the option of a straight 10 once I've seen it again).

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
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Thematic And Stunning Sequel
CalRhys21 August 2014
'How to Train Your Dragon' is my all-time favourite animated film, so when I heard a sequel was being made, I knew it was one I had to see. The last animated film I saw in the cinema was 'Toy Story 3' four years ago, so going to see this beautifully executed flick was a treat. This film truly lives up to its expectations and builds upon its predecessor's achievements like any good sequel should, and from this, the outcome is stunning. More mature and thematic than its predecessor, 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' is an emotionally resonant and heartfelt flick that expands upon the story of Hiccup and Toothless and their connection. With swooping and stunning visuals and epic animated set pieces, this is a sequel to remember, a modern masterpiece.
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9/10
Incredible
readjacksonporter12 June 2014
I picked up my future wife for a simple dinner and a movie date. We hadn't picked out a movie yet as we had decided to choose at the theater. Upon arriving, we saw that How To Train Your Dragon 2 was selling it's 8:00-10:00 Thursday night showings. I'd completely forgotten it was coming out Friday, so both of us, ecstatic, decided on that movie.

I went in expecting a great film.

I came out blown away.

I can honestly say I've never seen a sequel better than it's predecessor, but How To Train Your Dragon 2 does nothing but improve and top the first one.

The music was the best I've heard in a very long time. The story introduced so many things that was simply another piece of master storytelling. The relationships in the movie, especially Toothless' and Hiccup's, were written to their absolute strongest.

After all the films I've seen, all the shows I've watched, all the books I've read, I have never come across a friendship stronger than Hiccup's and Toothless'. The way they write that relationship is just . . . it's never been done before.

The story itself is actually pretty simple and actually a really short story, but it's a story you could tell the writer fell in love with. And he brought this story to the best it can absolutely be. The villain was chilling, the characters' outcomes were emotional, and the climax will completely shake your soul.

I have no complaints. No complaints at all. There is nothing I would change about that film. Not a single thing.

I just really hope they saved the best for last, because I don't know how they're going to top it.
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9/10
Worthy of the Hopes and Expectations You Are Afraid to Carry into the Theater
luke-salewski11 June 2014
Unfortunately the marketing for this film is subpar and misleading, as it was for the first one. My best advice to you is ***AVOID THE TRAILERS AT ALL COSTS. They include major spoilers to some very emotional points in the film.

This is another level of animated film, one that gracefully crosses generational gaps and will speak volumes to any age group. Because of the critical and audience acclaim of the beloved predecessor, many are afraid that a sequel will not match the mastery of the first one, that this would be created purely as a money-making gimmick, like many Hollywood sequels. If these are your presumptions, you couldn't be more wrong. This film is worthy of all the hopes and expectations you are afraid to carry into the theater. DeBlois has told us a moving story, one that won't be soon forgotten, that so many of us will connect with. At Comic Con 2013, DeBlois said that this was "The Empire Strikes Back" of the trilogy. That is a hefty promise, which he has successfully delivered.

The world of HTTYD2 has been vastly expanded and explored, very little of the film takes place on Berk. It is much more of an adventure film. The film has taken everything from HTTYD to the next level: emotion, intensity, action, adventure, humor, and depth. It takes risks I have seen so few animated films take, full of twists and turns, that will keep you engaged and invested.

For me the film could have had a stronger beginning, a few less childish jokes, and a bit slower pacing (probably should have been about 10 minutes longer). Other than some very nit-picky notes, that is literally the worst that I can say about it.

HTTYD2 is a phenomenal film and will deservedly pick up the academy award for best animated film of the year. John Powell, will again be nominated (and hopefully win) for his inventively emotional score.

This was my most anticipated film of the past two years and it does not disappoint. The four years of work on it show, as it is a polished film. It is one of those rare films that inspires. And one of the few that you walk out of the theater feeling so much emotion and thinking "Gosh, I can't wait to see that again."
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8/10
Both emotionally and visually dazzling, this is one sequel that lives up to the dizzying heights of its predecessor
moviexclusive6 June 2014
As unlikely as it may seem, it is a Dreamworks animation that we had most looked forward to this summer. Timed to coincide with the studio's 20th anniversary, the sequel to 2010's 'How to Train Your Dragon' could not come at a more opportune time for the studio - entertaining as they were, its more recent original works such as 'Rise of the Guardians', 'Turbo' and 'Mr Peabody and Sherman' have all underperformed at the box office, and it could certainly do with a hit to boost flagging investor confidence. But never mind that, the reason why we so eagerly anticipated this follow-up is simply because of how unexpectedly fascinating its predecessor turned out to be.

Yes, the story of a Viking teenager Hiccup who befriends the titular creature Toothless and manages to convince his village that they are friend not foe was not only a rare unadulterated crowd-pleaser, it also packed some genuine emotional heft with its bittersweet ending. Like how Toothless tends to do in the film, the big-screen adaptation of Cressida Cowell's young-adult book series came out of nowhere and charmed the socks off both adults and children alike, becoming one of the biggest hits in the studio's history. And so co-writer and co-director Dean DeBlois has returned to pen and helm this sequel set five years after the events of the first movie - though this time, he is going at it without his partner Chris Sanders.

Proving that two heads need not always be better than one, DeBlois' solo venture is no less compelling than the first film, and indeed sees the filmmaker demonstrate an imagination and derring-do which truly makes it soar. In a most literal way, that is exactly what the opening sequence delivers, which sees Hiccup's rowdy schoolmates - Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Tuffnutt (T.J. Miller) and twin sister Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) - participate in a dragon-racing derby which resembles Quidditch but with dragons for broomsticks and lambs for Snitches. It's an eye-popping and heart-pumping prologue, followed almost immediately by another which reunites us with Hiccup and Toothless, whose flighty adventures have turned into discovering new lands.

It is on one of those explorations that both stumble onto a fortress made from shards of ice created by none other than a dragon - not just any other dragon though, but a Bewilderbeast, regarded as the most venerable of the species who can easily command the authority of his kind. Within that fortress too is a mysterious woman named Valka (Cate Blanchett), who has dedicated the last 20 years of her life freeing captured dragons and looking after them in the sanctuary under the care and protection of a Bewilderbeast - and in case you've missed the trailers, this woman also happens to be Hiccup's long-lost and presumed- dead mother.

Instead of his stoic father Stoick (Gerard Butler), the emotional arc here is between Hiccup and his mother, as well as to a surprisingly poignant degree, between Hiccup's father and mother. DeBlois reserves the tender quiet moments of his film for the reunion between mother and child as well as husband and wife - in particular, a dance between Butler and Blanchett around a fire to their wedding song is bound to leave you misty-eyed - and makes sure that his film loses none of the heart and humanity that made the earlier 2010 one deeply affecting.

The villain that Hiccup finds himself up against is a tyrant named Drago (Djimon Hounsou), who believes that dragons are meant to be enslaved and used against the opponents whom he oppresses. We leave you to make the judgment whether Hiccup is being naïve or determined, but suffice to say that he believes in his heart that he would be able to convince Drago - as he did with the rest of his village - that dragons could very well be man's best friends if we allow them to. DeBlois plays Hiccup's naivety beautifully, culminating in some difficult consequences that reflect a temerity for the sort of heavy dramatic choices which would ultimately seal Hiccup's character transformation and ensure it be a genuinely satisfying one for his audience. Take this as a warning if you're a parent of a younger tot - it does get pretty emotionally upsetting towards the end, but the payoff is also undeniably rewarding.

The same can be said of each one of the cast and characters, particularly for those who recall the earlier film. Without ever saying a single word, Toothless still manages to be ceaselessly endearing, embodying not only feline affection and playfulness this time round, but a canine sense of loyalty to Hiccup. Each of the other dragons, however brief their appearance, are also designed with attention to personality. It is just as delightful to be reunited with the human characters. Jay Baruchel captures nicely the transition of Hiccup from teen to adulthood, and is just as appealing with America Ferrera as his girlfriend Astrid. Butler brings tough and tender to Stoick and shares some lovely chemistry with Blanchett in their emotive scenes together.

And if there were any doubt that the action were spectacular, well then let us put them to rest. In two words, the film is visually dazzling, and we're not talking about the cornucopia of creatures and backdrops. DeBlois once again concocts some terrifyingly exhilarating sequences here, which make ample use of 3D for maximum elation. It is a thrill- ride all right, but more than just theme part excitement, this sequel packs an emotional wallop that is both moving and uplifting at the same time. If you loved the first film, you'll be sure that this second entry into what is now planned as a trilogy more than brings this animated franchise to new and exciting heights.
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10/10
Beautiful, emotional and amazing!
oghare19 June 2014
This movie hits it out of the park regarding all the important factors . Storytelling, voice cast and animation is top class. The kids will get entertained and the parents even more so, because the movie is intelligent as well as fun.

The dragon's depictions are very amazing, you find yourself smitten by these creatures and also caring for the human characters.

Is it better than the first film? Yes, with improvements in the areas of emotion and magnitude. This one is also very different than the first one.

So, verdict.

YOU BETTER GO SEE THIS AS SOON AS YOU CAN!
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10/10
Soaring Way Up High
billygoat107110 June 2014
How to Train Your Dragon 2 follows the common rule of sequels by making everything bigger, even though that isn't always enough to justify the series. In fact, it usually leads the franchise into a disaster, and thankfully this film is one of the rare which lives up to its promise. While it already provides the most breathtaking action and impressive visuals, it also able to expand the universe and give huge room for nice warmth beneath the bombast. Once again, the studio has put aside their recent style of broader gags and bullet speed pacing and settle down for a real storytelling that reminds us why animated movies are so appealing anyway. How to Train Your Dragon 2 has given all what you've wished for as a great sequel.

The plot sure does heightened into an epic installment, it could have been an easy throw away of cool effects, battle sequences, and humor, but the movie is smart to keep on following its own roots by settling more on the characterization of their world and Hiccup's life with his dragon and the tribe. To keep it from being a wheel spinning visual showcase, the story embeds itself with full of inspired emotions, example is when it explores the icy dragon cave. It wasn't only an exposition, it is mainly a developing relationship between Hiccup and his long-lost mother. The quieter moments of letting the once disconnected family reunite again captures the same heart of the boy and dragon friendship of the first movie, which certainly made it pretty endearing.

The film also spends its time exploring more places around and beyond the Isle of Berk. It's quite interesting to let the years pass by and make the young vikings grow mature, and how it depicts their maturity is pretty clever, like the hormonal attraction of Snotlout and Fishlegs to Ruffnut, in spite of fact their comic relief get a a bit way out of hand. The dragon species were also given enough intriguing details, essentially for the plot, which sort of recalls the book series of Cressida Cowell. This is a rich universe that makes the whole journey even bigger.

The voice acting is predictably great. Jay Baruchel still brings the same earnestness to Hiccup even when the character's new appearance has outgrown his voice. Gerard Butler remains to be perfect as Stoick The Vast, he lends more gravity to the character in this one. Cate Blanchett joins in and she appropriately gives a great amount of warmth to the role. The other cast did well enough at keeping things much alive. For the filmmaking, the direction handles a better pacing compared to the other quicker cuts of the last few animated films. It's an easier way to watch by concentrating each scene of getting know of the characters, either with or without any dialogue. The flying scenes have always been a tremendous ride with scale and fortitude. John Powell's score helps making it feel much powerful, and it gets even better with a Jónsi song in it.

Apart from Disney, these are the only animated films of Hollywood today that have a wider ambition other than selling off kids with cool visuals and absurdist humor. There is an actual story to be found here, even without following its source material. The typical elements of Dreamworks are still there, but is hardly noticed. It's nearly like the first film, except of course it's larger. It does justice to today's family fare, somewhat forgetting the current mediocrity and rather fills it with inspiration from the past. One thing that is missing in most of the genre's attempt of transcending their films is the sincerity to its heart. Every affection in How To Train Your Dragon 2 never felt forced and right there it soars way up high. And if we have learned something about training dragons from the past, then it is the same thing about sequels: You don't just yell at it.
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9/10
Chappy Watched: How To Train Your Dragon 2
chappywatched7 May 2016
I LOVE the first movie. My favourite animated film, outside of Disney, of all time and I was worried that this might not hold up to the original.

I was wrong.

I'm still in two minds if it is better than the original though.

One thing that astounds me is the detail. The effects are absolutely mind-blowing and very thorough. There are some shots of Toothless where you can see the detail in his scales, including sometimes dirt and scars.

The original voice cast is back and still awesome, the story is amazing, the effects are jaw dropping and the score fits with the film perfectly.

This movie has everything in just over 100 minutes; action, adventure, laughs, tears for every one of all ages.

I just have one complaint…

… I DON'T WANNA WAIT JUST OVER THREE YEARS FOR THE NEXT FILM!!!
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10/10
A Movie To Be Remembered
teamfortresses18 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie touch me. The story line is amazing and at the same time lovely as u guys know already that basically that the plot of How To Train Your Dragon 2 is about Hiccup reunited with his mother, Valka. While Stoick The Vast will continue his love to Valka as he thought Valka was dead. The voice actor for Valka, Cate Blanchett. Her voice is just perfect for Valka character. The drama for this movie is really touching as the family go up against the enemy,Drago BloodVist. The graphics for this movie is incredibly stunning. For those people asking whether to watch in 3D, My answer is yes it is definitely worth your money. I think this movie is suitable for people in the world as it is one of a kind movie. So just relax enjoy your sit and your popcorn and enjoy watching the movie.
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10/10
(Please upvote this review, for Disappointed fans to see)
akosi-galileo11 June 2014
This sequel sucks, this sequel is inferior, this sequel is inferior. Yes, I once felt the same. BUT! It all changes after a ... R E W A T C H ... The reason? in the first watch .. you can't help but compare to the first one. The facing is too darn fast. So much thing is going on. It is very busy. In my first watch .. I too was disappointed to the movie. But, I give it another try and rewatch. Now that I know what will happen, Now that I know everything. I was able to keep up with the pacing and appreciate the beauty of this sequel. After I a rewatch, I finally see why people says this movie is an improvement. So, if your disappointed .. REWATCH IT !! I guarantee you, it will help a lot. and if your wondering Why am I doing this? because HTTYD community is freaking small. I don't want fellow fans to lose their hope in this series. It's not Frozen, It's not Disney, It's not Pixar. When Disney and Pixar release movies, everybody is excited. When dreamworks release movie .. WHO THE HELL CARES? .. I don't want HTTYD community to decrease. Who will support this series if the fans a gone? HTTYD is an amazing series and lets support it.
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9/10
Ignore those stupid trolls, This is the best movie if your a fresh grad !!
ram-scem27 May 2014
I have a chance to see this in a early screening today. I can guarantee you, the wait is worth-it. For me it is as good as the first one (and if you prefer epic action, this one is definitely better), but my favorite is still the first one because it completely took me by surprise.

Animation? Superior !! but the proper credit to say is cinematography. 3D effects is easy to achieve today because of advancements in technology. But it takes great cinematography to capture your imagination. If you are tired of "lazy" 3D, then watch this one.

Story? The Best! I won't tell anything about the plot. But I will say that the story connected to me so well. It is about "Coming out of Age"

***************

WE ENCOUNTER A TIME IN OUR LIFE WHEN WE ASK, "WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?" "WHERE DO I WANT TO BE?" .. we usually ask those questions during graduations.

**************

This movie will definitely help you find the "inner you". I wish this movie is shown during the time I graduated. My transition from college to real world would have been a thousand times easier.

DON'T LISTEN TO STUPID TROLLS, or YOU'LL MISS A WONDERFUL MOVIE EXPERIENCE.
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10/10
Forced, Awkward, Underwhelming, Disappointed
cmorrow-cmorrow15 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
First off, let me start by saying that I loved the first film and it is my favorite movie...........EVER! I had such high hopes after seeing the first one. Once I saw the trailer a few months ago I lowered them due to some of the characters no longer resembling themselves (with aging considered). I should have lowered my expectations even more. This was just a mediocre cliché kids film. nothing else. Everything that made the first amazing, enjoyable, original,lovable and different was gone. Everything seemed forced; the plot was all over the place. Hiccup's mother shows up after 20 years and after 5 minutes he's OK with it. There was a really awkward song that his father sang to his mother that was just painful to watch. I feel like there should have been some kind of recap also since everything was included from the cartoon series on cartoon network and i'm sure not many people going to see this movie have seen both seasons. There was a stereotypical villain, when the movie never needed a villain in the first place. It tried to hard to be too many things and to please too many people. Also, the score was very underwhelming. The volume of it was so low; unlike the first film where it was tied into different scenes, it was just thrown into the background carelessly at a low volume. There was some weird singing in it too.Just watch the first one again.
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5/10
A big step backwards.
Connorvall28 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
*Contains Spoilers for both HTTYD 1 and 2* I thought that How to Train Your Dragon (2010) was a phenomenal movie; in fact, I think that it still stands as the pinnacle of animated movies to this day, both through storytelling and through beautiful animation. In the original, a young boy realizes that dragons and Vikings can coexist after main protagonist Hiccup bonds with a wounded dragon trapped in a crater. Hiccup nurses the dragon, whom he named Toothless, back to health, and the two characters realize that the species they both were brought up to hate are not ruthless monsters, but instead intelligent and compassionate beings. The two then bring their worlds together and unite to face the real evil- the malevolent Queen dragon that forces her dragons to feed her, or else. There is quality character progression, a love interest, moments that make you laugh, moments that make your heart skip a beat, and you come to love the setting and the characters- especially the unbreakable bond between Hiccup and Toothless.

But then came How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014). It started off exactly like the first, with Hiccup narrating the lifestyle of his homeland. The opening scene with the game of capture-the-sheep is very... forced. There is nothing that throws us into danger like HTTYD 1 did with the epic battle of Vikings vs Dragons. The dialog of the other teenagers/young adults is annoying and repetitive (and this continues throughout the movie), and the scene only exists to reveal that Hiccup is missing. Cut to the next scene.

NOW we get thrown into the Fantasy world we all loved from HTTYD 1- the dynamic duo is soaring through the air, we see Hiccup's impressive armor and flight suit, and we realize that their bond remains as strong as the original. But then comes Astrid, who has had her character image flipped upside down. The former badass tom-boy that played a critical role in HTTYD 1 is now a happy and carefree character that serves as a sidekick rather than a partner/love interest. Throughout the entire movie, she follows Hiccup's lead. Again. And Again. And again. She is a flat character with no development, which is a shame seeing as she was such a round and dynamic character in HTTYD 1.

Skipping ahead, we see a pirate trapper with no motive as to why he serves a villain who gives him nothing in return, the continuation of Stoick playing the "I never listen to my son" father, and Gobber playing the comic relief character who says nothing witty or clever (except for his quote on marriage- that quote had some funny, hidden adult humor). And then comes... Drago. The cliché name combined with a barbaric tone of voice is bad enough, but do you know why he has set his sights on world domination with a fierce dragon army? No? Neither do I. He is the horrible "bad just to be bad" villain that we neither sympathize for nor love to hate. He hints that his village was destroyed by dragons, but their is no detail or backstory. And with his village destroyed when he was a young boy, he somehow managed to take control of an Alpha dragon that could squash him like a bug. Oh, and this Alpha also has mind control powers. But it only works on other dragons. Why? To drag the plot forward of course.

The saving grace for the main characters was Hiccup's mother, Valka. The reunion scenes, both with Hiccup and Stoick, were touching. Her knowledge of dragons that she passes on to Hiccup is crucial. Her dialog progresses the plot, adds drama, and her soft voice is a nice break from the annoying banter of the other young adults. Combine Valka with Hiccup and Toothless, and you get enjoyable scenes from the time she is introduced to the end of the movie.

As for the dynamic duo, they were a joy to watch for the entirety of the movie. Their unbreakable bond and humorous arguing and character progression was amazing. And the symbolism is even greater- at the end of HTTYD 1, we see the bond of the due symbolized through Toothless' clipped back wing and Hiccup's amputated leg. This connects them. By the end of HTTYD 2, Toothless became the Alpha of his species and Hiccup became the Chief of Burk. This shows that the are both capable of individual achievements. Stoick passes away, yet stays with them in spirit as seen when a statue of him is carved in a cliff. The list goes on and on.

Conclusion: They say that the sequel never beats the original; heart and soul was poured into HTTYD 1, but HTTYD 2 got the remaining drops. HTTYD 2 has a weak story, weak characters (besides the duo and Valka), and is a real let down from the first movie. If you are expecting a great continuation from the Masterpiece that is HTTYD 1, you will be disappointed.
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5/10
A major disappointment.
d-kibsgaard2 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Finally being able to watch this movie, I was stoked! I loved the first film, and it was about time to watch another light-hearted but intelligent movie about dragons and vikings in a universe I quickly learned to love.

What a bummer.

The subtle humor and cuteness of the first movie has been utterly demolished by slapstick that would put early Monty Python to shame and repeated gags that weren't funny to begin with. Oddly timed jokes seemingly thrown out at random took the edge off of a lot of situations that actually needed to be played out to the fullest.

Now, one thing I loved about the first movie was the balance between mature themes, expertly crafted into a believable story that both kids and adults could enjoy. The absence of a classical villain - instead leaving misunderstanding and fear as the culprits - gave it an edge and a message I don't recall seeing in any other animated movie. Sadly, it's sequel seems to completely ignore the success of this formula, and tackles huge and serious situations such as abandonment of one's family, the death of a loved one by the hand of a loved one, and treason in a manner that leaves me in wanting of other plot devices it can actually sustain as a movie primarily targeted towards children. The villain seems utterly forced, and lacks any credibility whatsoever. I never once truly believed that a raving monkey-man like that managed to subdue and bend the will of powers that were far superior to him. His motives are ridiculous, his back-story (which he apparently tells anybody that crosses his path in an instant) is as thin as a single sheet of toilet paper, and his personal integrity and conviction just makes him seem like something they just threw in there on a whim.

I really wanted to enjoy this movie, but I just couldn't! I couldn't force myself to believe the family reunion and how lightly everybody took it. I couldn't believe the villain. Frankly, I could hardly believe anything!

That's not to say the movie is entirely void of anything enjoyable. I like the way they keep fleshing out our main protagonist and his entourage - particularly his relationship to shield maiden Astrid. I just wish the rest of the movie would be approached with the same thought through storytelling.

As much as I'd love to love it, I must sadly go back and re-watch both the first one and this once again. It might have been my mood when I watched it, or it might be another case of "The Dark Knight Rises-" a movie I found so utterly horrendous and pointless it still makes me angry to think of the great reviews it received. At least How to Train Your Dragon 2 was better than that one...
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10/10
My Review of How to Train Your Dragon 2
braydwilde-886-44582615 September 2015
Way back in 2010, a little gem from DreamWorks Animation - a studio previously known for comedic blockbusters like Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda - both literally and figuratively spread its wings with critics and audiences alike, and it unexpectedly made me a fan just like that. The original How to Train Your Dragon still remains my personal favorite DreamWorks animated movie of all-time, and tied for my favorite cartoon movie not made by Disney. In fact, I really regret not seeing the original movie in the theater, but this sequel more than made up for that. Four years of hype and anticipation surrounding this movie made the wait, for me, more and more antagonizing, but I can say with a big, fat smile on my face, that it was well worth it.

Five years after the events of the first movie, Hiccup (again played by Jay Baruchel) is now 20, yet he still retains the charm and spunk from the original movie. Hiccup not only has maintained his friendship with Toothless, the rare Night Fury, but has also strengthened it exponentially. Because of this new peace between Vikings and Dragons, the rest of the dragon riders from the first movie are now having competitions with their dragons, and these dragons have also become integrated into these guys' everyday lives.

Hiccup is being groomed to become the next chief of his tribe by his burly and brawny father, Stoick (again played by Gerard Butler), while his relationship with Astrid (again portrayed by America Ferrera) has also grown - they're now officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Hiccup and Toothless mainly like to explore new lands and discover new dragons, but one of their discoveries leads to them coming upon this ice cave, and then our young Viking hero gets to meet his mom...who happens to be a mysterious Dragon Rider named Valka (played by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett)! Valka shows her son some hidden secrets and abilities that Hiccup, until now, didn't even know they had, and she reunites with Stoick and they decide to pick up right where they left off from when Valka was whisked away from Berk by Cloudjumper, her dragon, which she likes to ride like a surfboard! Turns out that she's even more experienced with dragons than even Hiccup! But soon, the normal ho-hum dragon-integrated lifestyle of Berk is soon threatened by Eret, self-proclaimed "greatest dragon trapper alive" (played by Kit Harington from Game of Thrones), and also Drago (played by Djimon Hounsou), who actually is the elite Dragon Trapper, and the film's primary villain.

Drago has a plan - to control the humongous Bewilderbeast, and in turn, controlling the rest of the dragons so that he can destroy Berk. But all Hiccup wants to do is just talk some sense into him, but as we see in this movie, it's easier said than done. From that point, the battle lines are drawn, sacrifices are made, and relationships are pushed to the ultimate test in a movie that is sure to resonate with people young and old just as much, if not more, than the first one did way back when.

In a word, it's amazing how far DreamWorks has come ever since making the original hit, and you can clearly see why here. The visuals are top-notch, the decision to make our heroes older is risky but it pays off big time, the music that got John Powell an Oscar nod still retains familiar cues from the original movie and also ups the ante, and on top of it all, the movie still has the spirit of the original movie, along with, I daresay, a Dark-Knight-esque kind of atmosphere that really made the first movie work, especially towards the end of this movie.

These characters feel real - they have real emotions, and these actions that our main heroes take sometimes have real consequences, for better or worse, and you really feel like you're a part of their world. All of that is what made the original one work, and it remains here. Oh, and if you're wondering about the humor, it's still there to keep the kids giggling and engaged throughout, along with some funny lines provided by Gobber, again played by Craig Ferguson. Those moments are still there, even with the heavy emotional moments packed throughout the movie.

Overall, I expected big things out of number two, and it certainly does not disappoint. This is a movie that absolutely met my expectations...and also set them even higher for No. 3 in the summer of 2016. Go ahead and see this movie with your whole family, because I know they'll all have a, pardon the pun, high-flying experience.
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3/10
Hypocritical and inconsistent
dodjimi5 September 2014
This movie felt like it was trying to please too many groups and values at once: "tweens" who enjoy video games, kids around 5-6 years who like funny animals and monsters and ... whoever likes pathos and hypocritical morality, I guess.

What bothered me most is that the overwhelming message of the movie was: "We talk about peace and pretend to try to keep peace, but our enemies are monsters who have to be killed because they are bad by nature." Hiccup keeps talking about peace, but all of his efforts come down to 2-3 clichéd sentences, while most of the time he ends up waving his sword around in a very video-game style. The movie actually makes it clear that there is a possible way to stop the fight, but then completely ignores it and goes on to focus on power struggle.

All the emotional moments are extremely clichéd, uncreative and feel "cheap" and sugary. They make a huge part of this movie. Not much humor, either.

The very beginning was good enough - relaxed, cheerful and I thought a few minutes of friendly banter between Hiccup and his girlfriend were nicely done, felt natural. But the more the movie evolves, the worse it gets for those who notice more than the visuals.
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5/10
Maybe it's just me...
jljacobi1 September 2014
I liked the first movie enough to re-watch it, but the sequel is too long, too simplistic, and is yet another Hollywood epic that preaches pacifism and negotiation only to create a final solution out of violence.

The politically correct messages are overbearing, the catering to every conceivable demographic obvious, and the characterizations disturbingly one-note. The whiny mannerisms of the hero really began to bug me only a short way into the movie. And they kill off an important character who happened to be my favorite. Does anyone else find it odd that the other characters seem blissfully happy only a few minutes later?

How this movie has garnered a rating over 8 is beyond me. It's contrived and a real disappointment in my book.
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1/10
Such a disappointment
chrisnevill2823 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Immensely disappointing. First animated movie I've been to that I felt had bad acting! I loved the first film, but this one was wooden beyond belief with what seemed like a thrown together story line.

Hiccups so called dragon loving mum almost drowns his dragon within moments of meeting him? She disappears for 20 years and doesn't think to mention to anyone she's OK? She starts off as this uber dragon queen person and then as the story goes dissolves into a bit of a nobody - except Hiccups mum. What happened to the use of her weird dragon blade weapon? Why was her Alpha so lame?

Hiccup ends up as chief even though clearly he has no interest in that kind of thing?

Why did the Alpha follow this nasty guy Drago?

The whole intelligence level of this movie just seemed quite a few notches down on the first one.
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9/10
Just as wonderful as the original
MrDHWong24 June 2016
How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to the How To Train Your Dragon (obviously), the animated film which came out in 2010. I consider it a great sequel, just as wonderful as the original, making it another Equal Sequel. I really enjoy sequels that expand on the first film's story rather than just rehash the original's plot, and this film does just that.

Set 5 years after the events of the original, the Viking Hiccup and his friends are now young adults who have since made peace with the dragons and live in harmony with them in their village. Hiccup and his dragon Toothless now often go on adventures together, exploring new lands and territories. One day, the two of them discover a cave made of ice that is home to many new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider. Upon this discovery, the two end up in the centre of another conflict between humans and dragons, which they attempt to resolve.

This sequel was a bit darker than the first one, but it still retains the charm and wonder that the original had going for it. I really liked how it showed another way that humans can be the real evil monsters and not the dragons themselves. Hiccup is a lot wiser and more determined than he was before, and that made the resolution much more satisfying to see.

I rate it 8.5/10 and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loved the original.
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4/10
It literally destroyed everything that the first movie has created.
tairikuokami20 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I have watched both series following the first movie and they were great, they were everything this sequel was supposed to be about, like the true meaning of friendship including the sacrifice, but it is quite the opposite. The biggest disappointment of the whole movie is the part, where Stoick is killed. I was expecting Drago to give order to Alpha, who would order to dragons to attack Hiccup and then Toothless would jump in front of Hiccup regardless of Alpha's command, risking own life protecting him, now that would send a powerful message. Afterwards probably a surprise of Alpha, who would then refuse to follow Drago's command as well. But no, he kills Stoick without any hesitation and please note, that he was not expecting Stoick to jump in front of Hiccup, so he would kill his best friend without any remorse and that destroyed the whole movie and removed everything that previous movie and series achieved thus fur. It was the most disgusting scene I have seen in a long time. In the movie, Hiccup actually mentions, that he shot down Toothless and it is because of him, that Toothless can not fly, so it might seems like a revenge and that is the only thing, that makes sense, why would be Toothless willing to kill Hiccup just like that and there goes the real friendship. Even the part, where Toothless tries to go near dead Stoick and Hiccup screams at him to go away, is shameful, it only proofs, that Hiccup does not really value Toothless as his friend. Hiccup was always trying to find the best in dragons and people, who were bad, even in Drago, but not this time, when Toothless was obviously not in control. You might argue, that his mother was just killed, but previous Hiccup would never do it. Simply put, after watching this sequel I am throwing out the DVD of the first one, because I could never watch it again without thinking about, what is going to happen next and that the whole friendship is just a pretend. They were together simply because Toothless could not fly alone as it was also mentioned in the movie and that is it.
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3/10
Snoozefest/Weak
cyikky20 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Loved the first one. My favorite animated movie in the last 10 years - high anticipation for the sequel.

Went with my 3 kids on the opening day. 30 minutes into the movie and I see my kids yawning and slouching in their seats. Two older ones whisper to me, "dad, this is really boring." There is no way around it - it is very boring until the last 10 minutes of the movie.

I do realize that this is an animated film, one that revolves around vikings riding a flying dragon. But you still have to have a strong plot, one that follows what happened in the original movie. There are moments in the movie that make you think, "Huh? Where was that in the first movie? Where did this (sub-plot) come from?" A case in example: Hiccup's mother is alive? And she never bothered to try to come back to her family for all those years? (And this is one of the more believable parts of the story.)

Weak storyline from beginning to end, not engaging at all, left the theater very disappointed.
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10/10
YES YES YESSSS
nestoryaviti2 February 2018
Wow. Now this is what I call a sequel. It sets that perfect tone then launches like a dragon and quickly sets the stage. Before you realize it, you're deeper in their world just like before. Dreamworks has done it again and done it beautifully. Loved it 10/10
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10/10
Absolutely amazing, one of the best animated movies
luisandresmendoza17 February 2016
I really loved the first movie, but i never though the second part would be even better. Since the movie started i knew i would love it; it's really one of the best animated movies i've ever seen.

One of the most stunning things of the movie (and it's equal in the first one) is the animation. All the characters, dragons and lands are highly detailed, the movements are perfect and all of it is brightly designed. Besides that, the history of this one is very touching and you will feel it throughout the entire film.

Concluding, you will enjoy it if you are a child or you are 50. If you enjoyed the first part, you can't miss this one!
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4/10
A very disappointing sequel, really beautiful visually but without a real scenario
nowhere-man-893-92939912 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I can sympathize with all the great reviews, I love the dragons, I love Hiccup and I share his love for the bad-ass Astrid. And there is plenty of great breathtaking scenes in this new movie.

Yet the scenario is really lacking in almost every dimension. It is completely unclear why the villain (who, by the way, lacks any depth beyond I'm-angry-because-the-dragons-burned-my-village) is able to control such a huge dragon as the alpha. The introduction of the alpha as a race, after seeing the dragon villain in the first movie, is also very debatable. The telepathic control that the human villain gains almost for himself is such a stretch that it's bordering inconsistency. The list could go on and on and on.
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5/10
Watchable but disappointing
utgard1423 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Hiccup tries to stop a war with a bad guy named Drago who wants to control all dragons. Hiccup also finds out his mom isn't dead, she's just terrible. The first half is light and enjoyable. Second half descends into darkness with the senseless killing of Stoick. What, because Hiccup's deadbeat mom is back it's okay to kill off his dad? How depressing! For me, the movie never recovers from this huge downer. The animation is pretty and even better than the first movie. The returning characters are all likable, although Hiccup grates on my nerves at times. But I felt that way about him in the first one, as well. I didn't care for the mom at all. Less said about that the better. Also the whole preachy peace message is undermined by all the violence and the fact that peace is only achieved at the end by having superior firepower. Mixed messages much? If you liked How to Train Your Dragon you'll probably like this. But be ready for it to have some flaws that might bother some more than others.
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