Film Review: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (USA 2019) ***

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Poster
Trailer

When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.

Director:

Dean DeBlois

Writers:

Dean DeBloisCressida Cowell (based upon the “How to Train Your Dragon” book series by)

Two years after the first sequel, Toothless the dragon and Hiccup the dragon trainer , along with their fellow dragon riders and friends, continue to rescue captured dragons in order to bring them back to Berk and create a bustling dragon and human utopia.  Unfortunately, their efforts have also resulted in the island becoming severely overpopulated with dragons. In a response to the overcrowding, Hiccup desires to find the “Hidden World”, a safe haven for dragons that his late father Stoick told him about.  Meanwhile, a white Fury dragon, held captive by warlords, is given to infamous dragon hunter Grimmel the Grisly as bait for him to capture Toothless for the warlords’ use as an alpha.

Toothless discovers the white Fury (dubbed a “Light Fury” by Astrid) in the woods and the two quickly become enchanted with each other until the Light Fury, sensing Hiccup’s nearby presence, flees. Hiccup and Tuffnut later discover Grimmel’s dragon traps in the area. Grimmel visits Hiccup that night, but Hiccup has prepared an ambush to capture him; Grimmel escapes, burning down Hiccup’s house and part of Berk in the process. In response, Hiccup rallies the citizens and dragons to leave Berk on a quest to find the Hidden World and safety from dragon hunters.

The rest of the plot is silliness and uninspired writing from director DuBlois.  There is the climatic fight between Grimmel and Hiccup while Fury and Toothless fall in love.  The Hidden World is now the place the dragons reside without their masters, now humans and dragons in their own worlds till the next sequel.

What is lacking in plot an story is more than made up by special effects and solid animation.  Often there is too much going on-screen than meets the eye.  The film is best seen in 3-D IMAX but the screening I saw was in normal 2-D.  Still the film looks stupendous.  The humour is only slight and could do with a lot more funnier.  The dialogue comes off as ‘cute and amusing’ at best.

Jay Baruchel does a good voice characterization as Hiccup as does F. Murray Abraham as the villain Grimmel.  But the best of all voices come from comedienne Kristen Wiig as the annoying Tuffnut.  The dragons do not speak so no voices from Toothless or Fury.  The filmmakers seem to oddly love the Vikings speaking with a Scots accent.

The film turns too romantic and sappy, especially with two twin romantic couples – Hiccup and Astrid and the dragons Toothless and Fury.  The dragon  matingis overextended and silly.  Worse still, the film goes on several years into the future when each couple show up complete with overcute offspring.

The film will likely take over the box-office #1 spot this weekend.  The film has already broken even making $175 million internationally at the time of writing, more than its $129 million budget and it has not even opened in North America.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYe7oMmCFr0

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