Reviews

Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2

SEMI-SPOILERY things ahead? You have been warned!

Movie Poster from HypableMovie Poster from Hypable

It’s an adorable movie. Not only that, but I’m amazed at how much story it manages to cram within the 90 minutes it had. And there’s just too many feelings I have about this movie…

Where do I even begin?

The opening was wonderful. It was whimsical, adorable and cute. Then Astrid tracks down her boyfriend and they begin chatting and she imitates him so well. No, that’s not the part that made me stop and stare. It was the part where she began nonchalantly braiding his hair and he just rambles, as though he’s used to it.

Then there was the part when she kissed him, but got Toothless’ saliva instead. She spat it out. I loved that scene, because it was just so domestic. And yet you can see just how the two of them are so comfortable with each other, accepting it as “normal” somewhat. I loved how normalcy seemed to be something that’s just right, between these two. It was wonderful and beautiful.

In parallel, you had Stoick’s and Valka’s relationship. She was taken from home a long time ago, and did not return. Yet even while she apologised to Stoic and Hiccup for leaving them, I didn’t get the sense that she really regretted leaving them. As in she did it because she had to. But she did not regret the years she spent with the dragons. How do I put it… it’s not quite the zero-sum game you see in a lot of other media.

She has interests beyond her family. And it cost her a lot, but it didn’t cost her her humanity, her feminity, her being. It was a refreshing change. It was nice to see that she wasn’t divinely punished for it. Though you could say what happened to Stoick later in the movie was punishment for it. That, I did not expect. And it was heartbreaking. I didn’t cry, but my heart wept.

But before that, when they begin singing, that was when I felt most pain. Because you could feel Stoick putting his entire heart into it, that he was leaving himself vulnerable, that he was about get his heart broken, before she joins his song. I… I know how that feels. Yet at the same time, I hated that feeling. Because it reminds me of myself. That putting your entire self on the line, only to be rejected. He had a happier ending, but I hated doing that.

So after all that, there’s the rising to the occasion and people cheering. And I loved how Toothless took command. Hiccup has shown that he has a brain beyond making gadgets, and he’s got a good head on his shoulders, despite his naivete and innocence. I like how he demonstrates his love for Astrid too; here’s a couple who’s comfortable around each other, and who love each other deeply. They complement each other, and in a very good way.

There are a few plot holes here and there, but unlike Frozen, I didn’t find them as annoying. And these are the kind of plot holes that appear when you think back hard on the movie, so it’s not something that even kids will spot. Did I mention that I love the concept art they showed off in the credits scene? It was gorgeous. Beautiful.

Oh, and the cinematography. I don’t know how, but oh wow. I really felt like I was in a different world. It was so easy to just fall into the world again, into losing myself in a world where there are dragons. Into losing myself in the laughter.

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a movie that awed me with the story telling. So many subtle touches, so many things that’s easily missed, but when you see it on screen, and you realise what they are telling you without having to actually say it…

TL;DR? 10 OUT OF 10, would watch it again.