Looking Fly: How to Train Your Dragon 2
By: Meg Humphrey
Warning: minor spoilers ahead (not plot, but character details)
A better title to this movie would be “How to Make Grown Adults Cry 2.” Thankfully, I am an expert at wiping away tears underneath two pairs of glasses, so the level of emotional outpouring was welcomed.
Let me be honest and say that the absolute best thing about this movie is Stoick and his estranged wife, Valka. All of their emotions are real and honest. Valka is filled with remorse when confronted by the family she left, but her joy about Hiccup following in her footsteps and Stoic’s change of heart about dragons is overwhelming. Stoic’s unstoppable devotion to his wife, son, and village is truly the material for heroes and legends. They even have a beautiful song together, but don’t worry if you despise musicals – the scene feels one hundred percent appropriate and right. They are wonderful characters and they are perfect together.
In general, the use of romance was spot on. Hiccup and Astrid are an adorable couple and the depth of their feelings for each other are shown in the smallest ways and are never meant to be front and center. I was also intensely relieved that they did not take Eret, who is put in his place by Astrid, and turn it into a love triangle.
Of course, the dragons were amazing! The variety of dragons (there were some super dumpling shaped ones on screen for around three seconds) was mind blowing. Yet even with the immense number of them, they all had unique personalities and displayed a lot of emotion. Toothless was even cuter this time around now that he is one hundred percent comfortable with the humans in his life and at liberty to do anything he pleases.
This is also a movie where the 3D was amazing. Usually I’m not terribly impressed with 3D effects, but zipping through the land with hundreds of dragons? This is what 3D was made for.
The one criticism that my boyfriend pointed out is that Hiccup isn’t the main character of the story. That doesn’t make it bad, mind you, it’s just not exactly I expected going in. The story is really about Valka, Stoick, and Toothless. Hiccup interacts with them and pushes the story along, but character development and emotional value is tied up with the aforementioned three. We were talking about our favorite parts of the movie and we both struggled to pick a part where Hiccup stood out. The one exception is the arrow scene (if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about), but even then I felt like Valka was responsible for moving Hiccup through the moment to his necessary conclusion.
This is one wonderful movie. I love it on the levels of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (my anticipated sequels are killing it this year)! I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this movie, there really is something for everyone to like. Now if they’ll only come out with a licensed Bewilderbeast plush, I’ll be set!