Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, T. J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington
It's been five years since Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. The now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.
We live in a world where a successful film has to be transformed into a successful saga. But when it comes to make a sequel, it's quite a difficult challenge, because the viewer already knows the characters and there is no surprise element. Dean DeBlois made it, kinda.
Still exciting, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 doesn't live up to the first installment, and kinda loses its message.
The film would have been perfect if it wasn't for the writing, the only weak part. The plot sounded very interesting, but turned out to be simple and quite banal. The message is really hard to be understood: the film begins with Hiccup insisting that friendship can be more powerful than force, but ends by submitting the bad guy.
Also, the introduction of the mother just didn't work. Dean DeBlois focused on the development of the relationship between Hiccup and his mother enough to make a keypoint of it. The only problem is that everybody is ok with the mother. She left for 20 years, and it's all wiped under the rug, like nothing happened. I mean, considering the film is more mature than its predecessor and goes to some pretty dark places, everyone forgiving the mother straight away seems fetched.
However, thank to the excellent characterization both of main and minor characters, and their development and growth acquired in the past fictional five years - mostly Hiccup and his father -, the film is saved in corner.
Vocally, Cate Blanchett did a wonderful job at not sounding like herself. In this way she avoided to distract the audience. The others also did a good job, even though I gotta admit I find Jay Baruchel's voice quite annoying.
Feel free to write back and say, "You're an idiot, this film is perfect, and way better than the first.", I won't be offended.
Stoick: Men who kill without reason cannot be reasoned with.