Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Sorry this review is so late. I'm trying to keep up with this blog, but there's a lot to do.

I've got to say this movie took me by surprise. I heard it was good from some of my friends, but the hype made me doubt that it would be good at all. I've noticed a trend with movies lately; usually whenever a movie is the subject of many commercials, McDonald's happy meals, special offers, and Superbowl advertisements, it always leaves something to be desired. I'm pleased to say that this movie breaks that rule.

"How to Train Your Dragon" is about a young Viking named "Hiccup" who has always wanted to slay a dragon. Still, unlike the other Vikings, he's small and scrawny and whenever he tries to fight dragons, he fails miserably and it ends in disaster. His Father, is the leader of the clan and the two of them have very little in common. Then, one day, Hiccup manages to wound the most dangerous of all dragons, a Nightfury, and when he tracks it down, he finds he can't kill it. Instead he forges a strong friendship with the creature, learns to ride it, and it teaches him a great deal about all dragons. Once he realizes he doesn't want to slay dragons, his Father finally grants his original wish and makes him join the other Vikings his age to learn how to slay dragons. He uses what he's learned to "fake" his way through dragon training. Once his Father finds out, he uses the information to track down the dragon's nest. Hiccup and his friends must fight to save the dragons, the other Vikings, and stop the terrible creature that is about to be unleashed.

The humor in this movie is very good and some of it is geared towards gamers (which I liked very much). There were some scenes that actually made me laugh out loud, which was refreshing. The main character is sarcastic and smarmy, but he's also very likable. He's basically the underdog, and you really want him to succeed in what he wants to accomplish. There are many funny jokes that you might miss the first time around, such as the Viking that is missing an arm has a beer mug attachment and an ax attachment as well.

The dragons in the movie are very catlike. This seemed very appropriate because I've always thought if dragons didn't talk they would have more catlike features, being very aloof and a bit snobby. (Perhaps appraising you and finding you wanting, etc...) It's also funny because it makes the dragons slightly unpredictable, giving them attitude and personality, particularly "Toothless," Hiccup's dragon.

The special effects in this movie are very good. I like the textures on the dragons' scales. You can almost imagine what they would feel like. The animation is caricature with enough realism to lose yourself in the movie. Basically the animation was very cool.

I'm trying to think of complaints for this movie, but I really don't have any. I am kind of biased because I've always loved dragons and have always thought Vikings were cool so the thought of Vikings riding dragons warms my heart. It would be a concept worthy of an RPG. Who knows, maybe someone will run a game like that one day. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie and I highly suggest you see it. It may be too late for some theaters, but even if it is, at least rent it. It's definitely worth watching.

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