Opening with a rousing sequence of dragon-utilising 'Viking Racing' - a sort of medieval Quidditch -How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a fun second outing in the franchise, one that takes its fleshed out characters on a journey of bravery and self-discovery. Essentially a story about parental issues (Hiccup's demanding father and his absent mother) that's sometimes drowned out by the din of the surrounding plot driven by a weak and unmemorable villain, the film has enough heart to make up for the action-packed distractions. Though the character animation is slightly stiff and dead-eyed, it contrasts greatly with the visual exuberance elsewhere, with the expansion of the universe and the different abilities, insignias and personalities of the dragons the characters encounter paying off in the many striking sequences on offer. Zipping along at a swift pace and never outstaying its 89-minute runtime, this is a likable prelude to a trilogy closer that promises even greater adventure.
Edward Frost | @Frost_Ed