In 2010, How to Train Your Dragon successfully established a relationship with hyperactive introverts around the world, connecting through its protagonist, Hiccup.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 arrives four years later eager to reconnect with their previous audience – who in their early/mid teens now respond to their more physical form rather than the inevitable rebellious order.
Hiccup returns looking like a young X-Games athlete complete with skydive clothing. He rides the Night Fury dragon – Toothless, exploring unchartered islands and seas in order to map out new land that the Vikings haven’t yet discovered. All while his friends back home in Berk are busy racing Dragons.
During his latest adventure, Hiccup discovers two mysterious figures from his past – the plot now expands the mythology of the franchise and raises the emotional stakes involving the family of the hero.
The provision for action is what marks this continuation, which takes full advantage of cutting edge computer graphics to create thrilling chase scenes and intensely bigger battles than the first film.
While How to Train Your Dragon looked very much like Superman – This time the movie followed the discovery from the adventure and the relationship between Hiccup and Astrid. The continued search references reflect those of classic films: The Missing Link and The Empire Strikes Back.
Compared to the first movie, it’s the emotional side that How to Train Your Dragon 2 fails to ignite in the viewer. The very personal story arc of Hiccup gives way to a more conventional plot of Manichaeism and emotional blackmail – as the element of “enchantment” exerts one dragon on another. This is the central theme of the film, which is first and foremost a very obvious narrative trait.
The advantage is that, while it extends the mythology of the series, the new movie is not afraid to make sacrifices on behalf of the advancement of Hiccup as protagonist.
The film leaves me shaking with anticipation for the already announced How to Train Your Dragon 3. Mainly to watch the new character development flourish, hopefully alongside some dynamic changes in direction – which is I guess is the minimum that’s expected of a good story.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is now showing at Palace Electric and at $7.50 tickets for all ages, will make a perfect escape from the cold during the upcoming school holidays.