Film Review: How to Train Your Dragon
The last instalment of the “How to Train Your Dragon” series is visually appealing and satisfying, with a conclusion that may leave the audience a little emotional.
The first film introduced us to Viking boy named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel)—who’s also the son of a fierce Chieftain—and a reputedly dangerous dragon named Toothless. On Hiccup’s craggy island of Berk, young people were trained to kill dragons, but Hiccup befriended Toothless after he initially wounded the Night Fury dragon, and even created a prosthetic tail for him. Following their example, the Berkians learned that they can befriend and be befriended by dragons.
Now, Hiccup’s father is gone, and Hiccup struggles to take his place as a leader. Meanwhile, Berk is struggling to care for a community that can barely contain the dragons who vastly outnumber the people.
Two new characters are the focus in this third film, and it turns out that Toothless is not the last of his species. A white female, dubbed by Astrid (America Ferrera) as the Light Fury, arrives—the scene of Toothless attempting to court her with an adorably awkward mating dance is one of the movie’s highlights. But she is part of an elaborate trap by ruthless dragon poacher Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham), who is determined to kill Toothless and as many other dragons as he can. Hiccup, Astrid, and the other Berkians work together to keep Grimmel away from their dragons and from the Hidden World, a secret dragon sanctuary.
The film’s spectacular images provide a fitting accompaniment to the characters’ emotional struggles. Master cinematographer Roger Deakins served as a consultant on all three movies and I’m guessing he played a part in developing the exquisite quality of natural light, particularly in the flying scenes and a stunning phosphorescent-lit encounter.
The visuals keep us inside a rich world of fantasy—the variations in dragon species continue to dazzle—one that is always grounded in human fears and feelings that are very real and very moving. A good film for the kids after exams