Anyway, I’d already had a mermaid party with my three nieces on a weekend when all three were in town. For my actual birthday, two were around, so we headed out to watch How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. While it’s still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d do a little review.
Spoilers ahead, folks.
The premise is that a new bad guy is caging dragons and specifically wants to kill Night Furies. This doesn’t mean good things for Toothless or his new girlfriend, the Light Fury. The people of Berk have saved so many dragons at this point that Berk is running over with them, and when the new villain threatens to destroy the whole town if Hiccup doesn’t hand his best bud over, the riders take their dragons and fly toward the home of the dragons that, as far as they know, may not even exist.
I did enjoy seeing Hiccup function as chief and Toothless as the dragon king, and Gobber brought on some memorable humor in this film. But overall, I really felt this movie fell short of its predecessors, and actually made them irrelevant.
I felt there was way too much time spent on Toothless falling in love with the Light Fury, which of course is an important part of the film. But when you spend 5-10 minutes watching dragons flirting and flying around each other, it begins to feel like a silent romance film—or at least it did to me.
I also felt like a lot of the previous humor that I adored from the other two movies, and from most of the Netflix series, was either nonexistent or lazy. The film felt too much like a drama to be the same fun-loving story that stole my heart, and when humor was attempted, it was either obvious or overdone. Two cases in point are Snotlout developing a crush on Hiccup’s mom (obvious) and Tuffnut’s beard (funny, but not capable of being the humor crutch the movie needed it to be).
The villain was also pretty boring, which is bad in general. But when you’re delivering what’s supposed to be the ultimate franchise villain, I expect something more than a guy who talks like he’s bored or wanders around like he’s just sipping coffee while strolling through his home.
My biggest issue with the movie, though, was that it made everything else irrelevant, like I already mentioned. For one thing, these fearsome Vikings ran from their home after a villain attacked their town and promised to do worse. I get it was a bad attack, but given the scuffles we’ve seen these Vikings survive and dive into, hightailing it seemed really out of character. More importantly, we’d spent two movies and I don’t know how many independent episodes of this franchise watching the core of the story: Dragons and humans wanted to kill each other, but turns out they can live together. This movie “realizes” that dragons and humans can’t live together *because* humans want to kill dragons… So what in the world have we been doing all this time?
But, then, Hiccup and Astrid reunite with Toothless and Stormfly years into the future, but the narration says humans still can’t handle living with dragons. So what in the world are you doing getting them out of the Hidden World? I thought it wasn’t safe? You can take them out for reunions and joyrides where people can see, but nothing more permanent?
Overall, guys, I’m leaning toward pretending this one never happened and looking for a better franchise wrap-up on Fanfiction. You don’t do that. You don’t take hours and hours and hours and hours of entertainment, and then “wrap things up” by realizing the core of the story was based on flaws and inaccuracies. You don’t let me live in this wonderful world of dragons and riders that are a part of each other, and then tell me they never belonged together in the first place, like everything that happened was a big mistake. That’s a horrible way to end a franchise. I hate it, and I wish they would’ve just stopped at #2.
So, even though I adore most of what I’ve seen in the How To Train Your Dragon world, I’m giving this movie 1.5 poetry snaps.