How To Train Your Dragon 2 **

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I can’t express how disappointed I am with “How To Train Your Dragon 2”, the sequel to the 2010 original animated film. The first movie was a great blend of beautiful animation and thrilling action all in service of a touching story about a boy and his dragon. So how did this movie end up so wrong? And did I see a different movie than everyone else because this movie is getting mentioned as a possible awards contender. Critics have been praising this and audiences have loved it. I found the story to be weak and forced. I found the animation to be drained of interesting visuals and colors. The screenplay was also lacking any real character development, humor and joy.

Now if you look at the box office of this film it is trailing the original films grosses by a wide margin. So where is the disconnect here? Stellar reviews and audience reactions but it is losing a large part of the original’s audience. I don’t get it.

The story follows Hiccup as he goes up against an old enemy of his dad’s named Drago. After much build up Drago turns out to be a pathetically written villain whose motives are pretty standard. He is bent on revenge, conquering the world, all the usual stuff. Eventually Hiccup finds his mother alive. She was presumed dead but was actually swept up during a dragon raid. Instead of venturing back to her husband and son she decided to spend her days protecting dragons. Hiccup gets over this lame excuse pretty quickly and accepts her back in to his life.

All of this leads in to a fairly boring battle between Drago’s forces and the Vikings. The mind blowing aerial action from the original film is traded in for some unappealing ground battles for some odd reason. Why create a 3D movie about dragons and not contain scenes where the glorious beasts fly through the air? None of this makes much sense to me.

After the film was over I was left confused about what I had just seen. Critic and audience reactions have left me puzzled as well. Some how I saw a different movie than everyone else has.

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