As soon as I saw a trailer for this movie, I knew then I had to come and see it. Luckily for me, I work at a movie theater. This means we can do employee showings or “quality check” showings before the public gets to see their movies. A few employees, obviously myself included, were excited to see what this movie had to offer. I did not hear anything about the movie itself, maybe because we did watch it a day earlier than it’s premier and release date, but I did hear that Jolie was getting rave reviews. I am a pretty big Disney fan and Angelina looked so perfect in the role that I thought I would really enjoy this movie. Spoiler. I wasn’t impressed.
The movie has an incredibly slow start, opening with Maleficent as a young fairy. While I really do not want to criticize a young actress, I thought her lines were forced and and some points almost difficult to watch. Therefore, I will fast forward to a time Maleficent is Angelina Jolie. As mentioned earlier, Jolie was incredible. I was reading there were some problems with scripting the film, but Jolie delivers her lines with grace and captivation. It is understandable to see why children were afraid of her in full makeup. She is as close to the cartoon you can get without painting her skin green. Even her hand painted contacts were brilliant and slightly haunting to the viewer. The movie does indeed pick up with Angelina as its star, but if you are looking for the movie to be faithful to the story of the original Sleeping Beauty, you are only going to be disappointed. Yes, I understand it is told from Maleficent’s POV, but that POV is a typical one. Of course it is the “woman scorned once by love, therefore I must be an evil, fear inspiring bad guy/girl everyone knows me to be” Tell me you did not see that one coming from a distance.
There are a few things that I do not wish to spoil so I won’t reveal the ending, but I cannot stress enough how disappointed I was. If you are familiar at all with the story, you can probably figure out what I am mentioning. The story line was predictable, the acting on everyone else’s part was, at times, cringe worthy, and the ending was lackluster. The good thing however, is that Disney did not try to drag this movie beyond the point of no return. It’s 90 film length was the perfect time.
Even though I was not impressed by the storyline, I was incredibly impressed with Jolie and Disney’s visual effects. The visuals were stunning and at times awe-inspiring. If you do want to watch this movie, definitely pay attention to the creatures. They were by far the best part and what kept me watching.
Obviously I am going to be a bit bias, but let me preface by saying, if I was disappointed with this film, trust me when I say you would have known it. The first How to Train Your Dragon absolutely blew me away. It is by far my favorite movie of all time. Not only is the story line amazing, the visual effects in that movie were stunning. At times I actually had the chills. The lighting effects alone were breathtaking and are difficult to capture in real life, never mind succeeding in animation. The textures, the scenery, the little jokes that kids miss, and pretty much everything about HTTYD are wonderful. If you have not seen that movie, you really missed out and should probably go watch it immediately.
The first movie came out in 2010 and I was still in college. That being said, I missed my opportunity to see it in 3D. Now, normally I would pass on 3D films, however, I was told that many people would argue that the 3D in HTTYD were superior to the 3D in Avatar. With a statement like that, there was no way I was going to miss my opportunity to see HTTYD 2 in 3D this time. No way. I actually had a countdown for this film and when the day finally arrived, I don’t think my happiness could have been measured. I am so glad I saw it in 3D!
The 3D feature only enhanced all of those effects I was mentioning earlier. It was so well done, not only did I not get a worse headache, but it made you feel like you were riding with Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless through the vast colorful sky able to reach out and touch the clouds. When Hiccup and the fierce, yet lovable and adorable Toothless take the dive toward water, I almost expected to feel the cool rush of icy water on my skin.
Berk obviously has a few improvements made. After all, dragons are pets and friends, not the enemies this time. They need proper housing, food, and fire prevention methods now. HTTYD2 introduces you to new, interesting dragons, lands, and characters. Some of those new characters are slightly terrifying like the villain Drago Bloodvist, who of course wants the dragons to himself for power and control.
The original characters remain great and really show a few years of maturing can do some good. Hiccup is still unsure how he fits into the viking culture and is hesitant to believe that his time has come to step into his fathers rather large spot. Stoic (Gerard Butler) was also as great as ever. His burly beard showing signs of aging as he is getting ready to pass the torch to his reluctant son.
Getting to explore with Hiccup and Toothless as they look for new lands, adventure, and trouble all over again was everything I could have hoped for and so much more. This movie was just as incredible as the first.
You can check out the first five minutes of the movie by clicking on the link below