Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Once again, seeking respite from the oncoming cold, I sought a diverting, undemanding film and chose How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014; dir. Dean DeBlois).  Brisk, vivid animation and the swooping, soaring exploits of flying dragons make for a significant entertainment.  The film avoids many of the pitfalls of sequels.  Although not as fresh as the original, this second installment of what may be a series follows the exploits of characters some five years after the first film as they take on the menacing dragon king Drogo.  At the center of this film is the return of a parent who has been missing and presumed dead for twenty years. She reunites happily with her son and husband but then as you should always expect there are complications with consequences.  In addition there is the discovery of a forgotten menace who reemerges to threaten the kingdom.  (The success of this sequel may come from the series of books on which the two films are based). The characters in this film seem to be Vikings.  They refer to themselves as Vikings, but there is a good bit of bagpipe music, and the chief’s sidekick Gobbo is voiced by Craig Ferguson, so perhaps these Vikings live in or near Scotland.  The flying sequences are exciting, the battles loud and explosive, the comedy is about what you would expect—the film offers the usual array of comic secondary characters that seem almost de rigeur in films like this one.  (What would Despicable Me be without those strange little eraser-like yellow sidekicks who follow Gru around?).  Does the use of the Arabic numeral 2 instead of the Roman numeral II in this film’s title indicate some assumption about the film’s intended audience?

No comments: