Friday, 4 July 2014

Film Review: "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014).

“This is Berk. Life here is amazing. Dragons used to be a bit of a problem. But now they've all moved in… And with Vikings on the backs of dragons, the world just got a whole lot bigger.” Which is exactly what the second installment of the highly successful 3D computer-animated action fantasy film produced by DreamWorks Animation offers. How to Train Your Dragon 2, loosely based on the book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell, is the sequel to the 2010 computer-animated film How to Train Your Dragon and the second in, what is now announced as, a trilogy. The film is written and directed by Dean DeBlois - taking his first solo directorial effort without his partner Chris Sanders. The film takes place five years after the first film, when Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

After the success of the first film, the sequel was announced on April 27, 2010. How to Train Your Dragon… has become DreamWorks Animation's next franchise. We plan to release the sequel theatrically in 2013," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's CEO. It was later revealed that DeBlois had started drafting the outline for a sequel in February 2010 at Skywalker Ranch, during the final sound mix of the first film. The film was originally scheduled for release on June 20, 2014, but in August 2013 the release date was moved forward one week to June 13, 2014. When offered the sequel, DeBlois accepted it on condition he can turn it into a trilogy. For the sequel, he intended to revisit the films of his youth, with The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and My Neighbor Totoro (1984) having the pivotal inspirations for the film. The entire original voice cast returned for the sequel. On June 19, 2012, it was announced that Kit Harington, of Game of Thrones, was cast as one of the film's antagonists. At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, it was announced that Cate Blanchett and Djimon Hounsou had joined the cast.

The film stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Millerand Kristen Wiig with the addition of Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou and Kit Harington. The performances in this film were just as incredibly poignant and witty as the original. Blanchett, Hounsou and Harington were brilliant and fit perfectly into this universe. Their performances were so amazing that I did not know that Blanchett was Valka, Hounsou was Drago Bludvist and Harington as Eret. They hid so well in their roles. Which is a huge challenge for actors and performers to achieve. So my hands go off to them. Well done!

It may not be as fresh as the original, but its humor and colorful secondary characters make How to Train Your Dragon 2 a winner in its own right. It’s bright, lively, entertaining and sharply funny. However, in a way, it manages to undo some of what made its predecessor such a computer-generated joy ride.

Simon says How to Train Your Dragon 2 receives:

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