Claremore Daily Progress

Community News

June 18, 2014

REVIEW: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ at CC8


In 2010, “How to Train Your Dragon” used the sweetest of  tropes (a human boy and his loyal animal companion) in an animated fable to illustrate how a tribe of thick-headed Norsemen could learn to get along with their flame-spraying reptile brethren. 
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” continues the “let’s-all-get-along” vibe of the original, a worthy follow-up with all the heart and humor of its surprise hit predecessor.
The sequel picks up five years later in the island world of Berk, where things are now hunky-dory between Hiccup (the eternally pubescent voice of Jay Baruchel), his dad, Stoick (the eternally grunting voice of Gerard Butler), and his dragon pal, Toothless. But trouble — and plenty of it — is brewing.
Hiccup and Stoick are at odds as how to handle Drago Bloodfist (yes, this is the character’s actual name), a fearsome warrior who’s assembling a dragon army. 
Thematically, “Dragon 2” is a “people can change” versus a “no they can’t” point of view as writer/director Dean DeBlois expands the original story’s mythology and ups the emotional stakes by reuniting Hiccup with his long-lost mother (Cate Blanchett).
While the original movie benefited from narrative simplicity and an absence of outright “bad guy” villains, this one fills the screen with a few too many characters and frequent diversions from the main story. Even so, “Dragon 2” does deliver up a bountiful and sugary feast for the eyes, especially those wearing 3-D glasses.
Visually, the movie’s visual scope is as dazzling, both with the almost photorealistic rendering of elements (such as fire, water, and translucent green ice), and in the more subtle, moving character design of Toothless (a hybrid of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s Totoro mixed with a big black cat).
Like another recently-released second installment movie (“22 Jump Street,” also showing in Claremore), “How to Train Your Dragon 2” builds upon its the success of its predecessor just the way a sequel should.
Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” soars even higher than the original, delivering family-friendly fun for audiences of all ages.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is rated PG for animated action violence and gratuitous cheeky monkey Craig Ferguson.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is currently showing in Rogers County at the Claremore Cinema 8. For showtimes, contact CC8 at (918) 342-2422.

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