Thursday, June 19, 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Director: Dean DeBlois
With: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington

How to Train Your Dragon is one of the films I deliberately skipped in 2010 and almost did not plan on watching the sequel this year. I was not a huge fan of the animated genre and did not want to spend my money for animated films in cinemas. Plus, Toy Story 3 and Tangled already filled my dose of animated films for 2010 because I was pretty sure that no one can beat that monumental Disney biggie anyway.

Not even the rave from Cannes about How To Train Your Dragon 2 made me want to check it. But upon watching X-Men: Days of Future Past in 3D just recently, I saw the trailer for it and I was smitten by how playful and colorful it looked. So a few weeks ago aside from my Studio Ghibli films movie marathon, I watched HTTYD in prep for its sequel and boom, consider me an animated film lover now and a n00b. I have a new found love for it, thanks to Hiccup, Toothless and the exciting world of Berk.

I really loved the first HTTYD. So I made sure that I'll watch its sequel in 3D. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the perfect schedule and perfect place for it. I didn't watch it in 2D and settling for less was never a part of my options. I was scared because days have passed and I still have yet to see it. I worried that it will be removed from the cinemas because other films might take its spot especially Transformers.

Luckily, we were able to find the right schedule. Albeit not in 3D, we're able to catch an even better deal, 4DX!!! It's the right timing because I've always wanted to try it and I think an animated film like HTTYD is the best film for my first 4DX experience.

It was indeed an amazing and entertaining experience. I kept on thinking about my nephew and how he'd enjoy the experience while I was on my 4DX seat smiling half the time during the course of the movie. There are so many flying scenes so it was perfect to watch it in 4DX with the fake air, clouds and all which at first was quite distracting yet fun at the same time. Good thing is the engaging story of the film outpowered all the 4DX tricks in store throughout the movie. Perfect combination of visual imagery and 4DX gimmicks.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is EVERYTHING. It's action packed, it's epic, it's dramatic, it's romantic, it's hilarious, it's adventurous, it's sentimental, it's a musical, it's heartwarming. It really is everything.

It's way better than most of the movies I've seen lately. The action scenes are more superb than X-Men, fantasy way more wonderful than Maleficent, it touched me more than The Fault in Our Stars, and the Alpha and the dragons provided more epic ownage than Godzilla. I know it's silly to compare this but this is absolutely way more satisfying than the mentioned films.

As much as I enjoyed its trailer, I didn't expect much about it because the first one is so good I didn't know how they would surpass its greatness. As we know, sequels especially of animated films tend to go overboard  by exploring the past and origin of their prequels but this one did a neat job in incorporating its past to the present and future of the story. It's fearless like the first one and their risks often pay off which made the storyarcs even more tragic when it's tragic and victorious when it's victorious. I actually think some of its themes are very reminiscent of Avatar and even Star Wars, alol, but I guess that's just me. They closed this film with a great conclusion but widens the possibilities of awesome storylines for another sequel. I wish I read the book.

One of the things that made me fall in love about the film, aside from Hiccup and Toothless' wonderful and awe-inspiring friendship, is John Powell's MAGNIFICENT score. It truly is one of the top reasons why I love this film. Powell's score captures the epicness of the Vikings, the air of love when it's romantic and the poignancy of what used to be a forbidden friendship of the two main characters. Add to that is Roger Deakins' ever reliable photographic vision not only for live action feature films but to animated features like this and The Croods last year. These components are two of my favorite aspects of films and it's catered so well in front of me that it's literally like a breakfast in bed of amazing visuals and sounds.

I really hope this wins the Academy for Best Animated Feature film for 2014. Not only because I think it's way better than The Lego Movie, but it would make up for its understandable loss against Toy Story 3 in 2010 (which was a great year for Animated films) and Dreamworks' The Croods loss against Frozen last year. :3 I'm kinda hoping Big Hero 6 would fail. Kidding.

I can't wait for the third and I can't wait to fly again with Toothless and Hiccup.

You may also check out this review in TheFlip.ph