How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014): A Winning Sequel

Toothless and Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon 2
How to Train Your Dragon 2, is a winning sequel to the 2010 hit from DreamWorks, where Jay Baruchel plays Hiccup again only this time around he is not fighting against his “heritage” or his father; Chieftain Stoic (Gerard Butler). He has changed Viking history and the village of Berk are at one with dragons and Hiccup is now searching for something outside the boundaries of his father’s world. Although he will soon replace Stoic the Vast as chief of the people he wants more.

This animated film goes beyond the reach of Berk as Hiccup discovers a foe who wants to control all the dragons so he can control the people. Djimon Hounsou plays Drago, a dragon master who has an Alpha male that he commands. Hiccup also finds his mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett) as well as learning just how far he and Toothless can go together.

This second journey in the world of Berk and Hiccup sees, or more accurately, hears some familiar voices as America Ferrera, Kristen Wiig, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse return to reprise their roles. Cate Blanchett is a new addition as is Kit Harington who plays Eret, “Son of Eret.”

How to Train Your Dragon 2 works well even for those who have not watched the first film. The franchise, a second sequel is projected for release in 2018, has done very well and proven popular with the targeted audience. There is enough action and humor to keep everyone in the family happy and this is entertainment that the entire clan can watch and enjoy.

How can lines like “I grew facial hair for you,” fail to garner a laugh. Rich characterization, the right actors voicing the right parts and some epic dragon battles all equal a brilliant experience for the viewer. High caliber performers like Cate Blanchett turning up shows that the studios took this sequel as seriously as the first installment.

If there is any qualm with the film at all, it is that Jay Baruchel sounds like a young Christian Slater clone. His delivery, tone and pacing are pure Slater, albeit a very high pitched one. This does not hurt either film but it is a bit disconcerting.

For all the battles and a couple of deaths, the film is clear of actual animated bloodshed. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is streaming on Netflix and for fans of these types of movies should not be missed. A real 5 out of 5 stars for great fun, epic fights and some great gags.