How to Train Your Dragon 2

Not rated yet!
Director
Dean DeBlois
Runtime
1 h 42 min
Release Date
12 June 2014
Genres
Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Overview
The thrilling second chapter of the epic How To Train Your Dragon trilogy brings back the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years later. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret 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.
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  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
    DramaComedyAction/AdventureSci-Fi/FantasyKids We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewHiccup and his dad are not quite on the same page. Again. Stoick, head of the Isle of Berk's proud, dragon-despising-turned-dragon-embracing Viking clan, is ready to make his son the new chief. But Hiccup's not sure it's an honor he wants. So he spends his days avoiding the leadership dilemma in front of him by mapping the outer reaches of civilization, looking for new lands and new dragons, cataloging everything he discovers. Hiccup and his night fury dragon, Toothless, along with Hiccup's more-than-just-a-friend Astrid, do indeed find some new dragons … as well as the cruel men hunting them. And just like that, Hiccup's smack in the middle of a brewing war. Hiccup and Co. are captured by ace dragon trapper Eret. But as haughty as Eret is, his wannabe villainy is nothing compared to the man he captures dragons for: Drago Bloodfist, the self-proclaimed Dragon Master, a cruel tyrant assembling an army of the flying beasts to subjugate the entire world. The biggest of them, called an alpha (think Godzilla!), keeps all the other captured dragons under his hypnotic thrall. Clearly, intrepid Hiccup must do something. Between escapes and recaptures and more escapes, Hiccup stumbles into the hidden lair of yet another dragon master, someone with a big alpha dragon of her own—as well as a significant connection to Hiccup's past. You know what's coming next: the biggest dragon knock-down, drag-out you ever did see.Positive Elements[Spoilers are contained in this section.] How to Train Your Dragon 2 is about Hiccup embracing his destiny as the young man who would lead Berk. But even more than that, it's a story about family—how it molds our sense of identity and character. Hiccup couldn't be more different than his father, Stoick, a massive boulder of a man. Waiflike Hiccup's always feared he could never live up to Dad's larger-than-life leadership style. So he's hesitant to embrace his father's call to take over the tribe. Early on, Stoick responds by trying harder to impart leadership values to Hiccup. "A chief protects his own," Stoick instructs. "No task is too small when it comes to serving your people." It's good stuff. Things get interesting, however, when Mom shows up. Valka, the woman everyone saw carried away by a dragon 20 years earlier, has been presumed dead. Instead, she took up residence in a paradisiacal enclave of dragons, communicating with them, living with them and caring for those wounded by Drago's men. Hiccup justifiably wonders why she never returned. The answer is complicated: She'd come to love dragons, and she didn't think her husband could ever change, that he could ever be anything but a dragon slayer. She also wanted "to change the world for all dragons, to make it a better, safer place" she says. When Stoick shows up and is stunned to find his wife still alive, the two work their way toward a poignant, passionate reunion (which includes a tender, beautiful reenactment of the song they sang to each other at the time of their engagement). Then the reconnected family valiantly leads the charge against Drago and his spellbound dragon army. "Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things," Valka intones. Valcka fully realizes now that she should have given Stoick another chance before writing him off as someone who was unable to change. And she apologizes to her son for abandoning him: "I'm so sorry, Hiccup. Can we start over? Can you give me another chance?" Sadly, the family reunion proves to be painfully short-lived, as Stoick sacrificially steps in front of a dragon's fire blast to save someone. At his funeral, Valka says that Stoick always believed his son would be a great leader. She tells Hiccup, "I feared you wouldn't make it, but your father never doubted." Hiccup replies, "I was so afraid of becoming my dad, mostly because I thought I could never become someone so great, so brave, so selfless." In the end he concludes, "I guess all you can do is try." Stoick willingly makes that ultimate sacrifice. But Hiccup, Astrid, Toothless and nearly every other good character in this story also lay everything on the line to defend Berk and defeat Drago. Even Valka, who affirms, "The world wants peace … the voice of peace, bit by bit, will change this world," knows that sometimes you must fight for that peace and the freedom that comes with it. Speaking of Drago, Hiccup is convinced he can show the dastardly villain the error of his ways. Hiccup may be naive, but he can be praised for wanting to give it his best shot. Stoick's wisdom is equally laudable when he says, "Men who kill without reason can't be reasoned with."Spiritual ContentA funeral references Valhalla, found in the Norse mythological city of Asgard. We hear this blessing: "May the Valkyries welcome you and lead you through Odin's battlefield." Someone exclaims "Gods help us all." We also hear "Oh my gods." One woman with a special connection to dragons is shown wearing a tribal mask and acting like a kind of shaman in her ability to influence the great beasts. She herself couches her connection in spiritual terms, saying that a dragon is "not a vicious beast, but an intelligent, gentle creature whose soul reflects my own."Sexual ContentAstrid kisses Hiccup twice, once on the cheek, once on the lips. (During the second smooch, Gobber covers the eyes of a watching child.) A married couple embraces and kisses. The young female Ruffnut is lustily infatuated with Eret. Slow-motion scenes find her leering at him as he flexes his significant muscles; she exclaims suggestive things like "Take me!" "Oh my!" "Ooh, I like that!" and "Me likey!" Meanwhile, two of Berk's other Vikings vie for her attention. Amid a heated discussion between a married couple, the onlooking Gobber blurts out, "This is why I never married. This and one other reason." Though the latter phrase could refer to many different thing that have kept Gobber from getting hitched, director Dean DeBlois has said it's a nod to Gobber being gay. (More on this in the review's postscript.)Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentViolence gets ratcheted up several levels compared to the original film. Drago's dragons and men launch a siege-like offensive against a dragon sanctuary. Combatants fly wildly about in this sequence, launching all manner of attacks which often culminate in fire and explosions. We don't see many casualties from this combat, but there are exceptions. One character takes a dragon's energy ball blast at point-blank range and is killed. A behemoth alpha dragon is felled by a similarly monstrous beast. Another dragon battle knocks a giant horn off the evil alpha dragon's face. People repeatedly fall off dragons (and are generally caught or land in water), get blasted by dragon fire and dragon ice (sometimes being encased in the latter), and suffer crash landings, almost always with no lasting ill effect. Several people are dangled in midair by dragons in a threatening manner. For all of the film's rough-and-tumble playfulness (sheep are routinely catapulted high into the air just for fun, for instance, and one Viking boy talks about being buried alive by a girl who apparently did not reciprocate his crush), Drago is a deadly serious enemy. He has no problem ordering someone's execution, and his eventual all-out assault on a defenseless and dragonless Berk is harrowing. Drago's pirate-like minions have no remorse about making people walk the plank to their doom (a fate that's narrowly avoided). Human-on-human violence includes several hand-to-hand melees. Dragon trappers are relentless in their pursuit, and they use elaborate gun-fired nets to ensnare their prey. We see Drago remove his prosthetic arm, revealing a shoulder stump from a terrible dragon wound he sustained as a child. And we see the red scars on Eret's chest after it was carved up by Drago as a punishment.Crude or Profane LanguageWe hear an unfinished "What the …?" Hiccup yells out that they're going to "kick Drago's ..." Name-calling includes "moron." Given names include Barf and Belch and Snotlout.Drug and Alcohol ContentNone.Other Negative ElementsWhile trying to redeem someone is a good thing, Hiccup foolishly heads into harm's way when he disregards his father's counsel about reforming Drago's crooked heart. Potty humor includes "soil my britches" and "steaming heap of dragon—duck!" Dragons sniff backsides and regurgitate partially digested fish for others to eat.ConclusionSequels in a beloved franchise tend to take all the things that made the first film a hit and Make Them Bigger. We might label this phenomenon Sequelitis, or maybe Sequelization Syndrome. And that's definitely the case here. There are more dragons, more pyrotechnics, more characters, more intensity, more at stake. Parents wondering if the sequel is as suitable for young viewers as the original might want to take note of all those mores—while remembering that it's a swath of dragon fire that can burn both ways. There's also more heroism, for instance. And the story's poignant focus on the power of a father and mother's influence is deeply compelling—as is their marital reconciliation and rekindled love for each other. It's the kind of pro-family storytelling that inspires you to want to be a better, more helpful, more loving member of your own family. Hiccup isn't left to just follow his dreams, rather he learns about responsibility and leadership, as well as the work required to see things through. But it's the battle scenes that will feel more more than the rest of those mores. Dragons and humans die in intense skirmishes that I found myself mentally comparing to the likes of Godzilla and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Things never get that grim or gory, of course, but the combat is rarely merely cartoony. A few worship-minded references are made to the Norse gods, as well, and wickedness feels palpable in the dark Drago. All of that makes this a film several degrees more complex in its portrayal of human (and dragon) goodness … as well as in giving us a shadowy glimpse of the opposite. So while How to Train Your Dragon 2 is every bit as entertaining and engaging as its predecessor, it's traded some of the whimsical, childlike wonder for a more nuanced—and at times darker—examination of the clash between good and evil. A postscript: None of the advance buzz related to How to Train Your Dragon 2 was about the battles. Instead, it flitted around a single line of dialogue that the film's director indicated was an admission that one of Berk's residents was gay. After the film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Dean DeBlois said the "revelation" was an ad lib by voice actor (and late night TV personality) Craig Ferguson: "When we were recording Craig Ferguson, I had written the line, 'This is why I never got married,' and he, as he often does, added it as an ad lib, and he said, 'Yup, Gobber is coming out of the closet.' I think that's a really fun [and] daring move to put in. I love the idea that Gobber is Berk's resident gay." In a separate interview with Fox News, DeBlois added, "And we all started chuckling and said, That's right, Gobber's coming out in this movie. I just love that about Craig. He's always got just a little extra something for you. I think it's nice. It's progressive, it's honest, and it feels good, so we wanted to keep it." As noted in this review's "Sexual Content" section, the full line that ended up in the movie's final print is, "This is why I never married. This and one other reason." So it's a statement that likely never would have evoked any sort of discussion about sexuality had DeBlois not said anything about it. Remarked star Jay Baruchel, who voices Hiccup, "Preaching tolerance in any respect is never a bad thing. I don't know if drawing a massive amount of attention in the middle of a kids' movie is, like, necessarily what you should be doing, but listen, if somebody catches it, then good for them." And what if families don't catch it and aren't forced to confront this very adult issue in the middle of a kids' movie? (Which many certainly will not.) Well, DeBlois has already hinted that these themes may get explored more in the franchise's next installment. "It does make for an interesting revelation because now, what does that mean," he said, "do we shed a little more light on Gobber's love life?"Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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    (Review Source)

John Hanlon2
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
    There is a sense of pure majesty at the beginning of the new animated feature How to Train Your Dragon 2. After creating a distinct world in the original, discount writer/director Dean DeBlois opens this feature by showing the worlds of Vikings and...
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    (Review Source)
  • Kenneth Branagh talks Cinderella & Shakespeare
    (”How to Train Your Dragon 2” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Want to know who is cleaning up at the 2015 Academy Awards. I’ll be live-tweeting the show @johnhanlon and keeping score of the winners below. All of the winners will be in bold as the night progresses. Best motion picture of the year “American Sniper” “Birdman or...
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    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Post's critics' top 10 movies of 2014
    (”How to Train Your Dragon 2” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    birdmanboyhoodcalvarycaptain americadawn of the planet of the apesinterstellarinto the woodsnightcrawlerselmathe imitation gamethe theory of everythingwhiplash This has been a year when audiences flocked to the likes of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I,’’ “Transformers: Age of Extinction,’’ “Guardians of the Galaxy,’’ “The Fault in Our Stars’’ and “Gone Girl.’’ What did The Post’s film critics prefer? Lou Lumenick and Kyle Smith sat down to hash out their own top picks: Lou: We’ve been working together on the movie beat for nearly 10 years, and we’ve only matched our top choice twice. This year, at least, each of our No. 1 films of the year are somewhere on the other’s list. Kyle: Didn’t you call “Boyhood” a gimmick movie? I thought “Birdman,” which is styled to look like most of the movie is a single take, was the ultimate in artifice for its own sake. In any case: Both made your list! Viva the gimmick! Lou: Well, “Edge of Tomorrow’’ on your list is also a stunt — it’s the first Tom Cruise movie I’ve liked in years, plus it’s got a badass Emily Blunt. I suspect “Boyhood’’ and “Birdman’’ are strongly written and acted enough they would have worked without being stunts. Kyle: “Birdman” is not only one take, it’s one-note. Spare me the showbiz-is-agony woe. But I agree that “Boyhood” would be equally great if different actors played the kid over the years. The scene in which the mom — heartbreakingly good work by Patricia Arquette — cries when she sends her boy off to college might be the best of the year. “I just thought there would be more,” she says. Indelible. Another great parenting film was “Interstellar,” which yielded the profound thought that the reason we’re here is to make memories for our children. Lou: I think the emotional content was too much for some of our colleagues, who were complaining about the “incomprehensible” physics while claiming to understand Jean-Luc Godard’s inscrutable “Goodbye to Language.’’ Another celebration of out-of-the-box thinking — in physics and an unconventional marriage — can be found in “The Theory of Everything,’’ with super performances by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Kyle: A surprisingly uplifting movie considering the hero spends most of it in dire straits. Given two years to live in 1963, Stephen Hawking is still cracking jokes, still enlarging our sense of wonder. Another movie that caught me unawares and made me cry was Rory Kennedy’s “Last Days in Vietnam.” The very word “Vietnam” is synonymous with folly and dishonor, yet this doc shows how, with ingenuity, tenacity and courage, US forces saved thousands of Vietnamese from the barbarians at the gates as Saigon fell in 1975. I would love to see this important, seldom-told story get the full Hollywood treatment. Lou: We’ve got a couple of great movies this year about real-life war heroes who meet unhappy ends. “The Imitation Game’’ has a fantastic Benedict Cumberbatch as closeted genius Alan Turing, who invents the computer to defeat the Nazis, only to end up prosecuted for his homosexuality. And then there’s your favorite, “American Sniper,’’ the first movie I’ve seen with Bradley Cooper where he actually disappears into the character. Kyle: Yes, he embodies the character — physical, taciturn, focused. The film’s director, Clint Eastwood, continues to be a puzzlement. Half the time his military movies amount to Howard Zinn anti-American propaganda, like “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters From Iwo Jima.” And yet “American Sniper” is anything but. It’s a mature, thoughtful, sober work — the capstone to his directorial career, the best military movie since “Black Hawk Down” and a tribute to the warrior class that is the guts of this country. Lou: At the other end of her career, Ava DuVernay arrives as a major filmmaker with “Selma,’’ an epic telling of the ’60s voter rights struggle in Alabama with a terrific David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. politically outmaneuvering Tom Wilkinson’s Lyndon Johnson. The marchers’ confrontation with cops on the bridge is the most powerful scene in a movie this year. Kyle: It reminded me of “Lincoln.” Many long, slow, quiet, dimly lit scenes. Both King and Abe deserved more exciting films. I much preferred the complex mind games in “Calvary” and “Whiplash.” The former is a devastating parable about the issues facing contemporary Catholicism, the latter a thrilling exploration of the pain that may be involved in attaining true mastery of craft. Lou: Hope you mailed your “Calvary’’ review to your No. 1 Catholic fan, Philomena Lee! I do think “Whiplash’’ is well worth seeing for J.K. Simmons’ mesmerizing performance as an abusive music teacher, though I question making him a role model. Another dark character I loved was Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy TV cameraman in “Nightcrawler,’’ debuting director Dan Gilroy’s blackly hilarious mash-up of “Network’’ and “Ace in the Hole.” Kyle: It was amusing, but Billy Wilder was 10 times as caustic. The “serious” movies in general disappointed me this year, but I enjoyed a bunch of summer blockbusters. The new “Apes” movie was smart, eerie and gripping, and the second “Captain America” was nearly the equal of its predecessor — funny banter, sinewy action, well-drawn characters, a pleasingly complicated plot and one of the most ingeniously designed exposition scenes ever — Toby Jones explaining it all as a Nazi ghost speaking through 1970s computers. Lou: To me, “Captain America’’ was an interminable one-joke movie — Robert Redford collecting a paycheck playing a Nazi. Meanwhile, the unlikely collaboration between the Mouse House and Stephen Sondheim has turned out what may well be the best Hollywood musical so far this century — the deeply subversive “Into the Woods,’’ with fantastic singing by Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep. Just don’t bring the kids, PG rating or no. Kyle: Another one about the agonies of parenting. I venerate Sondheim, but the big-screen version is a bust. All I want for Christmas is for somebody to greenlight the “Wicked” movie already. Lou: Don’t hold your breath. I almost forgot to mention Lukas Moodysson’s “We Are the Best,” a delightful comedy-drama about aspiring punk rockers in 1980s Stockholm. Kyle: Time to get on out of here. I have to go convince my 6-year-old that “Big Hero 6” isn’t the greatest movie ever. Lou: And I have to buy a “Frozen’’ doll as a fifth birthday present for my granddaughter — who dismissed “How To Train Your Dragon 2’’ as a “boy movie.’’ Lou Lumenick’s Top 10 1. “The Theory of Everything”2. “Interstellar”3. “Selma”4. “We Are the Best!”5. “The Imitation Game”6. “Birdman”7. “American Sniper”8. “Nightcrawler”9. “Boyhood”10. “Into the Woods” Kyle Smith’s Top 10 1. “American Sniper”2. “Boyhood”3. “Calvary”4. “Whiplash”5. “The Theory of Everything”6. “Edge of Tomorrow”7. “Last Days in Vietnam”8. “Interstellar”9. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”10. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleFacebook MessengerWhatsAppEmailCopy ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 5 Things Parents Should Know about How to Train Your Dragon 3
    (”How to Train Your Dragon 2” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Hiccup is a different type of Viking. But his friends and family members have known that for a while. At age 15, he befriended a dragon named Toothless and transformed his village’s beliefs about the mythical creatures. Previously, they hunted and killed dragons. He taught them to co-exist with these fire-breathing animals. Hiccup and his Viking friends even invited dragons to live in their village of Berk.
    ...
    (Review Source)

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