How to Train Your Dragon 2 gets the thankless task of being the last film to open before the big juggernaut of Michael Bay's Transforming dinobots or as I like to call it: The End of Days! Dragon doesn't have the same action cache as a Michael Bay film, but it is a part of a better, coherent franchise.

Dragon 2 begins a few years after the first one ended. Dragons are the norm in Hiccup's town; they are embraced, loved, and cared for. The town spends their time doing dragon races. Hiccup spends it exploring the world for more dragons. He's grown up and may be ready for being the leader of his town. His dad thinks so. He doesn't.

While exploring Hiccup eventually finds his mom. She's a recluse living in a dragon world communing with dragons. She's a natural dragon rider who believes her son has inherited her skills. Hiccup has but is not in a league like her mom. Hiccup has inherited his mother's dragon nurturing skill. He's nothing like his dad. But the movie will show that he will be his father's son.

The mother could've been a more interesting character. She's strong willed and talented. She knows dragons showing Hiccup a thing or two about the Night Fury he rides. Yet, as the movie progresses she becomes boring. She doesn't get to use her dragon prowess to defeat the big bad. She disappears from the plot in the tail end of the movie. She could've been used better.

The animation looked phenomenal. The famous DP, Roger Deakins, is a consultant, and the camera work is absolutely amazing. It'll wow you with its depth of field, shading, and lighting.

Finally, as with Godzilla, this film had kaiju. It's a big kaiju lovefest.

3 of 5 stars.

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