18 Jul 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2 [movie review]

How To Train Your Dragon 2
Director: Dean DeBlois
Screenplay: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera
Studio: Dreamworks Animation
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 102 minutes
Released: June 2013

How To Train Your Dragon 2 picks up about five years after the events of the original movie. The once bumbling Hiccup is now 'the pride of Berk' and has earned the respect of his village (and acceptance of his father).

With Vikings now on the backs of dragons, the world suddenly gets bigger, and a new threat looms. An old enemy, hell bent on conquest, makes himself known, and it's up to Hiccup and the gang to save their people - and their dragons - from defeat.

With a five year gap between films, the kids from the first Dragon movie have grown up a little. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is more sure of himself, yet still has some of the awkward charm that made him so likable in the first movie.

Snotlout (Jonah Hill) and Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) are both fighting for the affections of Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) - who remains as single-minded and obnoxious as ever.

Stoick (Gerard Butler) has softened quite a bit since we last saw him, which is a surprise. What we see in very brief glimpses in the first movie is mostly present in Dragon 2, though there are scenes when his stubbornness and an edge of darkness creep in to remind us that this is a hard man with a hard life.

The people of Berk are up against Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), whose voice and attitude are intimidating and frenzied, making for a great villain.

The world is gorgeous, as I mentioned in my review of The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2. With exploration comes the opportunity for more variety in dragons and landscape, and all of these are done beautifully.

My only gripes with the movie were that Valka (Cate Blanchett)'s voice was all over the place - her accent shifted from Scandanavian to Scottish to Irish and even a little American at times. This might have been to emphasise that she had spent two decades away from other humans and had explored the world in that time, but it was confusing and a little off-putting.

There was also a wasted potential plot point regarding Toothless as being the last of his kind. This was mentioned often enough that I began to think it foreshadowed a future plot point, but nothing came of it. Maybe in the next movie.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a delightful movie that is every bit as beautiful  and fun to watch as the original. If you're a fan of the original Dragon, or of dragons in general, then definitely go see this.

Want more dragons?
The Art of How to Train your Dragon 2 - book review
How To Train Your Dragon - movie review
In which I hunt dragons
The top four dragons in fantasy

About Jamie
Jamie Gibbs is a life-long geek and leans towards anything with sorcery, dragons or obscure pop culture references.
You can follow him on at @mithrilwisdom for a daily dose of fanboy discourse.


  1. They definitely need to find more Night Furies in the next movie.
    I liked the sequel although thought it was a bit dark.

    1. I agree - it'd be good to see more, or at least know what happened to them.

  2. I still haven't watched the sequel yet. *bows head in shame*
    Great review, though, Jamie! :)

    1. Thanks Hanna :) I think you'll get a blast out of the sequel - hope you get chance to see it :)

  3. Great review! I enjoyed the movie a lot and thought it held true to the core "friendship" focus of the first one, which is what I loved most.

    1. True - it's good to see that even after 5 years the gang has stayed together


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