Tuesday, July 1, 2014

3 Short Paragraphs: How to Train Your Dragon 2

2014, Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch) -- cinema

How to Train Your Dragon 2, surprisingly with no title of its own, continues the story 5 years later on a much more colourful Berk. Figuratively colourful, as in the vikings living on the island now raise, train, ride and are friends with dragons. And literally colourful because, wow, so much colour! The houses are painted, the sheep are painted and the dragons are naturally colourful. Its bright and cheerful and full of primary colours. The vikings have risen out of their drab, morose background of defending themselves from dragon attacks to grow into a better life. But out there in the world, there are still grays and earth tones full of sombre mood.

Hiccup is now the talk of the town, soon to become Chief, if his father's pressure works on him. He makes dragon saddles and tools for the village and in his free time, explores the wilds, seeking out new lands and new dragons. On one of these journeys, he comes across a band of evil (ok, misunderstood) dragon trappers who work for the Big Bad, Drago. It still kind of erks me that we have to resort to dark skinned bad guys these days, along with all the connotations attached. But I also have to admit that Djimon Hounsou voices Drago brilliantly, filled with menace and the tenacity of a fanatic. It is inevitable that Hiccup will butt heads with this madman.  Luckily, his mother turns up with unexpected help.

The movie is great. But it does suffer from a bit of sequel-itis. The structure still involves Hiccup being a bit of an outsider, not wanting to become Chief, and the discovery and confrontation of a leviathan sized dragon, the Bewilderbeast. Through team work and loyalty, Hiccup and his friends are able to defeat the Big Bad, but not without cost. Seriously? They killed off Stoick? Bah, one of my favourite voice overs is Gerard Butler. But with sequel comes movement forward and without his death, Hiccup will not be leader for the third, likely even more world changing, movie.