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"How to Train Your Dragon 2" follows the dark formula of second sequels - CinemaDave

Jun. 15th, 2014 11:49 am "How to Train Your Dragon 2" follows the dark formula of second sequels

It was the ending of the first movie that I realized "How to Train Your Dragon" was going for something deeper. With the onslaught of animation motion pictures, one felt a sense of diminishing returns, though the visuals, humor and musical score made this "Dragon" film a cut above most offerings at the time. Would "How to Train Your Dragon 2" survive high expectations?

It is the first moments of both brilliant and supple animation that one knows they are going on an epic journey. The first view is that of Nordic water, as the scope expands - one sees the depth of details of the island village of Berk. Our hero Hiccup (voice again by Jay Baruchel) and his best friend Toothless the dragon, are surveying. The two run afoul dragon poachers, who want to enslave dragons to take over Hiccup's hometown.

Hiccup warns his father and tribal chief, Stoick (Gerard Butler) and sidekick Gobber (Craig Ferguson) about the threat. When the name of "Drago" (Djimon Hounsou) is mentioned, Stoick prepares for the worst. As Stoick says earlier, "Men who kill without reason, are men you can not reason with."

**Dragon 2** takes on a darker tone with a touch of Scottish melencholia. Parents be warned, there is a traumatic scene that is as stunning as Lassie getting shot in the paw. Somehow the film ends in triumph that does not seem forced.

**How to Train Your Dragon 2** is a full epic presented in 98 minutes, with a score worthy of an Oscar nomination. Guillermo Del Toro and Drew Suzen are acknowledged in the credits for their contributions, most likely for so many visual Easter eggs.

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