Sunday, July 6, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Teaching You To Never Listen To Your Parents Since 2O1O

How to Train Your Dragon has to be one of my all time favorite animated movies. Its a unique, beautiful story about a boy and his dragon. The story works so well, Hiccup and Toothless are so amusing together, you can't imagine the series without them. Plus the animation is incredibly well done and easily heartwarming without being cliche. The second film had finally arrived after four years of waiting and it does not disappoint.

The same look a cat makes before it tears you a new asshole
Down and Dirty:

The overall story was well done, the graphics and movie score was beautiful, and we got to explore more of Hiccup's family ties and the world of dragons that exists beyond Berk. The viking town has adapted and quite attached to their new scaly friends and everyone seems happy until they find out a man named Drago is capturing dragons and creating an army.

The action sequences are explosive, the low points are devastating, the humor is within the vein of the first movie, and of course there are more dragon species for us to see. The biggest let downs of the movie are the villain's motives weren't strong enough and seemed aimless. Minor characters seemed to drown beneath the action of the main ones and the story dragged out farther than needed to circle around and give a more punchy ending.


Train Your Dragon 3 will Feature Dragon Skinny Dipping
There is a lot more action in this movie than ever before. Probably a little too much in certain respects. Two large battle sequences back to back made me feel this movie should have been broken up a bit more. The other thing that bothered me is that creatures and characters did a whole lot of nothing off screen while certain characters were confronting each other.

It seemed like Dream Works had a bit more trouble this time keeping track of everything at once and could only handle one problem set at a time. The biggest fail was the sequence where Stoick and his wife were hiding behind the rocks while the dragon searched for them and Hiccup confronted Drago. While Hiccup was confronting Drago, the dragon seemed to do absolutely nothing for that entire sequence. He could have easily freezed over the entire area his family was last seen at even if he couldn't find them. The sequences were poorly planned when the battles were large scaled, but very well planned when they were on a smaller level of confrontation.


This story was beautiful, touching, heartwarming and exciting. I was so happy for Hiccup and Astrid being together. I was so happy Stoick finally found his wife. I was thrilled that Toothless made a friend in Cloudjumper and that we got to explore more of the world beyond Berk. However the story seemed to have a bit too much going on. The themes that ran along were far too much to pack into one movie:

This poster is as bad as the story clutter
1. Hiccup finds mom - strong
2. Hiccup fears becoming a cheiftain - weak
3. Hiccup reunites family and quickly loses it - beautiful, but forced
4. Hiccup and Toothless learn to solo fly and catch each other - well planned
5. Drago's conquest to destroy all dragons by controlling dragons, to destroy dragons - weak
6. Love Triangles Galore - funny
7. Hiccup must defend his people and the dragons - strong
8. Eret's contribution to the story - weak and filler

This was a whole lot of whoa for a story and some of these threads were weakened by the overall craziness that was going on. Some tracks took a back seat to the others and were weakened overtime due to never addressed properly. Losing his father was way too quick of a rebound. I understand the movie has to force the characters to move forward, but I would have liked more input to how losing his father affected Hiccup in the ending monologue which seemed so epically happy, it weakened the death of a truly amazing character.

Drago is the Weakest Villain Yet:

Drago's reasoning for attacking everyone was weak at best. First he demanded to become the Chief of all Chieftains so he could "protect" everyone from the dragon threat. When they laughed him out of the room and he set everyone ablaze, he then wanted to eliminate the dragons, because they tore off his arm and messed up his life. However if dragons are gentle creatures, how did this happen? Did he go out of his way to kill these creatures? How does his iron arm work? Why did he take so long to exact revenge? And why bother killing the dragon riders if his whole plot was to destroy all the dragons? Was he just pissy everyone else enjoyed them, but him? I just don't understand what the deal is with this guy. He is creating a dragon army to destroy all dragons. That makes a lot of sense I guess.

Dragons, and Vikings and Alphas, Oh My!:

Eret makes the same face as Jon when he sees naked girls
You Know Nothing Jon Snow -

Eret is voiced by Kit Harington! That's right. Eret is Jon Snow! I'm surprised they didn't make him prettier.

Oh, You're Still Alive? - 

Eret son of Eret pops out of no where after a good long sequence of battle where I have no idea where he was that entire time. Cowering in a corner maybe? So when he popped up with the baby dragon flying scene I was like OH. I forgot about you. Right. I guess you are still alive. You know, because you are the typical bad guy who isn't so bad after all.

Toothless Takes Just Long Enough To Murder Hiccup's Dad - 

Saddest part of the movie, but Toothless did not need to stalk Hiccup to torch him. He was already under full control so he could have torched hm immediately. Surprisingly Dad looked great for some one who just got struck by an explosive blast. You would figure they would need to collect his limbs or at least have all of his hair singed off. He looked like he wasn't hurt at all. I know its a kids movie, but at least make him look extra crispy or something. The Night Fury has the most powerful blast of the dragons, you are telling me this man isn't even some what smoking after that?

Son,  I'm taking the house and your father's money after he dies
That's It? We Cool? - 

So Hiccup accepts mom's apology, check. Stoick accepts mom's apology, check. Well, that was easy. No fighting, shouting or awkwardness. It was like OH HEY you are still alive! This is great. Lets be a family again! OK! This is like a divorce child's wet dream. This rarely happens in real life. How could we not know how THAT reunion was going to end?  These guys were taking a page out of GRRM's books.

Is Ruffnut the Only Available Female in Berk? -

Seriously, where are the rest of the youth? Is Ruffnut the only choice these dudes have? Damn. She reminds me of a trashy goth girl. Go back to reading Anne Rice or something.

The Burial Kit, Never Leave Home Without It! - 

So I know a battle just went on, but it seemed the dudes did a great clean up before they left. Probably the best clean up I've seen since I've been to the French Quarter on a Friday night. So tell me again where did they get these bows and arrows? Where did they get the boat? Or the fire for that matter. I imagined they had nothing to make fire with at that point since no dragons. They may have gotten a small boat from a destroyed ship...maybe some bows and arrows from the ground. It didn't look like Drago's crew left much behind. I know they wanted to show a traditional viking burial, but seemed oddly convenient they had all the right tools for it.

This Battle Makes No Sense - 
Bow before my slave chained tusks! Or DIE!

Drago wants to attack the alpha to take control of the dragons. So he brings another big dragon to fight the Alpha and win dominance. So what are the ships and men there for? If there is a giant dragon hanging around, do we need that much "drawing out" power? Couldn't they have sent a few ships with some men, tossed some fire and rocks and crap and then started the fight? Did we need that much considering those ships could be more useful once their alpha achieves control? There seemed to be no strategy to this fight.

Also they HAD captured dragons. Why weren't they using them more to fight the other dragons from the Alpha? Also why weren't the other dragons that were controlled by the first alpha attacking the second alpha just like the second battle with the second alpha attacking Berk? The dragons were attacking all the ships when it literally didn't matter. I imagine the dragons could sense another larger dragon nearby, right? How could they not? They can track a human from hundreds of miles away, but they can't sense some big scary monster hiding under the water? Why didn't they all rally around the first alpha then?

Dad Dies and Everything is Good - 

I know its a children's story and this has to have a happy ending, but Hiccup just lost his Dad [strangely he was cool about losing his leg in the first movie too]. He took a really short time to get over that. Is Hiccup going to become an alcoholic? I think he's going to become an alcoholic.

Icky, sticky, lizard juice
If it Never Washes Out is Hiccup Forever Gross? -  

Hiccup keeps stating to Toothless his tongue slime never washes out. So is he disgusting or what? I'm surprised Astrid is still dating him. He must smell like dragon puke.

Hes 2O? REALLY? - 

I didn't realize Hiccup was at least 2O years old. That little stubble didn't have the aging effect that the producers wanted to have. And for a boy who came from such a brawny man, I'm thoroughly surprised how thin he is. Yeah, yeah, he takes after his mother. Still, can we give Hiccup some muscle please? I mean he does seem to be doing a lot of physical activity.

The Fat Dragons All Look Alike - 

Seriously...I thought Fishlegs and Gobber the Belch's dragons were the same type. Apparently not. They need to do a better job of distinguishing the fatter ones.

The Village of Berk is Still Alive and Well - 

I could have sworn Berk was gone. All of that ice should have destroyed everyone, but for some reason it didn't. I'm still not even sure why Dragon decided to go after Berk if he already had Alpha control he could have just taken all the dragons away, iced the place and traveled off. Its not like other placed were chieftainless from his first encounter with them.

Toothless Can Fly Without Hiccup? - 
I feel like he's doing it wrong...

It was stated in the first film Hiccup and Toothless are one being. Toothless can not fly properly without Hiccup's harness and directional switches due this tail being damaged. So how is Toothless flying solo and how was he flying with Drago and when he finally snapped out of his mind control..he just falls from the sky? I don't get it.

New Guy Switches Pretty Fast - 

So new guy, Eret son of Eret, is a dragon trapper and has no reason to switch over since Drago is a psycho. He could have saved his hide by bailing out of there as soon as he was able to escape. He didn't need to save the rest. The fact that he switched was...almost irrelevant. In fact, his character was kind of felt irrelevant in the entire breath of the story. He was totally overshadowed by the original characters. It seemed the only purpose he had was to take Skull Crusher and to cause tension between the two boys that were fighting over Ruffnut. If I were Hiccup, I would want to keep Skull Crusher for myself since that was my father's ride.

Drago is An Idiot - 

Why did he bother to let Hiccup touch his dragon, Toothless, while he was riding him. I know he thinks the Alpha's powers are absolute, but I wouldn't let Hiccup even get near Toothless to even reason with him. I would have just hit Hiccup with my stick and knocked him off his dragon.

Crazy Dragon Lady - 

I don't remember how established the elder lady was in the first movie, but she just popped up as the elder lady at the end making Hiccup Chief. That was totally odd considering she had literally no role in this film except the fact that she needs to be on hoarders.

So which quest do I get a chance to pick this one up?
Hiccup is a Nerd - 

Light saber? Really Hiccup? You built a light saber? WE can't even build a light saber. Damn it, I want a light saber!

Skyrim Mask - 

His mom is also a nerd...that mask is totally Skyrim material.

Drago is Cesar Millan and Daenerys Targaryen Rolled into One Character - 

Hookfang gives Drago his best shot and he doesn't even burn at all. Why? I mean he's a villain and stuff, but his cloak couldn't have made him impenetrable, could it? He's like the evil dragon whisperer with the Targeryen power of being immune to fire. Look into my eyes, I am calm and assertive! You will listen to me now dragon!

Dragon Surfing - 

This Was cool as shit to watch, but totally impossible. Way too much balance and keeping yourself up against the strength of the wind. Hiccup's mom has some mad skills as a dragon rider and to step from one dragon to another has got to be the most insane trick I've seen. I don't think the best acrobats in the world would even try this.

Alpha Drinks Coffee Off Screen While Waiting For His Cue - 

So while Hiccup tries to convince Drago to stop the violence. What is the Alpha doing? He's just standing around trying to find Hiccup's mom and dad in the mountain ice? Just freeze that bitch! They did such a good job letting the monsters interact while they chatted, but this was a fail point of the dragon's superior capabilities. It made no sense for him to wait for them to come out. These dragons have a superior sense of smell as was established by the story itself. He HAD to know where they were located.

Toothless Went Super Saiyan - 
I'll get you back Goku and your pet Vegeta too.

Did Toothless mature all of a sudden or what? Never seen the blue glow before. And now a Night Fury is challenging a monster alpha and winning. That's super insane. It seemed after the alpha's tusk broke, he just high tailed it out of there. I thought he had to kill the beast, but I guess the beast just didn't want to fight once he realized no one was controllable anymore.

So how many of these Alpha's exist? Will they ever come back to challenge Toothless now that he is King of the Dragons? Is Berk forever in danger? Guess we will find out in How to Train Your Dragon 3! Now with Hiccup's mom and maybe a little cup?

Fire All the Chieftains - 

If Hiccup's Dad was the only Chieftain to survive, what happened to the other towns? Did they pick new ones? Did they fall apart? Did they scatter into the winds? Did they try to take vengeance on Drago? Why didn't Stoick built an army afterward to take out Drago being the only escapee? He could have massed a huge force with all the towns desiring Drago's head for killing their leader. He had to know this was going to come back to him years later.

Great First Catch - 

Stoic snatches the mask from the water the first go, that was pretty incredible. In fact everyone in this film has an amazing ability to catch shit no matter what the situation. Including Toothless which always manages to catch Hiccup and protect him in a little ball while they crash into things.

Everyone Has Eagle Eyes - 

Everyone notices the smallest details and stuff from far away. How do they do that? I don't even notice this and I was REALLY looking. When the mother noticed that TINY ASS CUT on Hiccup's chin I was like WHAT THE HELL IS SHE LOOKING AT?! I need new prescriptions....
I gots my spines! I gots my spines!
Toothless Discovers a New Trick - 

Toothless was so happy to find his spines he wanted to try them out right away. That shit like made his day. I wonder if Toothless had a mother would she show him how to do this? Retractable spines to give him better turn? Is she saying this actually gives better aerodynamics? Really?

Animal Gesturing - 

The incredible thing about this movie is the animator's ability to mix common animal traits into the dragons. The bobbing head of a bird, the pawing of a cat, the fetching desires of a dog. Toothless acts the most like a cat and sometimes like a dog. While others like Astrid's dragon acts similar to a bird and sometimes a dog.

Drago's Army - 

Where did his army go after the first initial fight sequence between the alphas? Didn't he have a whole group of people with ships, weapons and what not? Did he kill them all? Did he send them home to protect the hide out? What's the deal here? Why weren't they invading Berk and stealing their sheep?

That Fish - 

Hiccup's mom just cuts up the fish and serves it like that? That's it? I thought they were going to let the dragons roast them for a second. I was surprised Gobber just popped the raw fish in his mouth.

Are you done yet?
So overall it was a great movie. Was it as good as the first? In some instances yes and in others no. It was not quite fresh or original as the first, but it still had a lot of laughs, action and great moments of heroism. The story was a bit cluttered than usual, but it did feel like a lot for just under 2 hours so you definitely get your money's worth. You get to see more variations of dragons and the best of all, explore the world outside of Berk. A great and interesting experience that is very similar in feel to the movie Avatar. All the ingredients for a good kids movie while not boring the adult in all of us. If you enjoyed the first one, you will be pleased with the second. And of course...if for no other reason to should always go for dragons!

What did you think of the movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2? Was it as good as the original for you?

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DnD Rating: 9/1O

After Credits?: Nothing after the credits, sorry!

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