Dan's Review: "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" is a fitting end to very good trilogy
Mar 03, 2019 10:11PM
● By Dan Metcalf
Jay Baruchel in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - © 2019 Universal.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Universal)
Rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor.
Starring (voices of) Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Justin Rupple, Kit Harington, Julia Emelin, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, James Sie, David Tennant, Robin Atkin Downes, Kieran Elliot, Ashley Jensen, Gideon Emery.
Written by Dean DeBlois, based on the "How to Train Your Dragon” book series by Cressida Cowell.
Directed by Dean DeBlois.
When it comes to film trilogies, it’s somewhat problematic to end such things on a good note. There have been successes and failures alike, but more often than not, the third act often feels more like a money grab than the end of a story arc. The third installment of the How to Train Your Dragon series (which is supposed to be the last one, but we’ll see – I’m looking in your direction, Toy Story/Pixar) has hit theaters, promising to be the fitting end to a grand saga about the relationship between mythical Vikings and various species of dragons. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World may be one of the better final acts in a trilogy, and here’s hoping it will be the last one.
Jay Baruchel is back as Hiccup, the newly appointed king of Berk, the Viking village where dragons are brought after being rescued. The village is becoming crowded as Hiccup and his band of friends continues rescuing dragons that are constantly being hunted by less-than-altruistic hordes of other tribes. Among Hiccup’s close team is his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) & Tuffnut (Justin Rupple), Gobbler (Craig Ferguson), SNotlout (Jonah Hill), FIshlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and Eret (Kit Harrington). Hiccup’s mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) also acts as her son’s advisor, following the death of her husband Stoick (Gerard Butler), who appears in flashbacks giving fatherly council to the boy Hiccup. When a group of dragon-gathering warlords employs dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) to track down Toothless (Hiccup’s personal “night fury” alpha dragon), the village of Berk is thrown into chaos. Hiccup must find a legendary “Hidden World” where the villagers and dragons can live in peace to avoid Grimmel’s evil plot. Along the way, Grimmel uses a rare “Light Fury” female dragon to lure Hiccup and Toothless out in the open, hoping to bring the rare species to extinction. Hiccup must learn to trust Toothless and his friends to overcome Grimmel’s ruthless tactics.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the perfect ending to the film series, bring closure, wisdom, and essential character development you don’t see in other trilogies. It doesn’t feel like a money grab to see how a clumsy, yet good-hearted young man develops, overcoming his fears and dependency on the dragons while growing into a wise leader. Other characters go through similar development that does not feel forced.
The visual effects in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World are especially stunning, with bright and dynamic colors, along with top-notch computerized animation.
There may be a few moments that drag on (no pun intended), slowing the pace down a little too slow, but for the most part, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a visual and emotional treat for the whole family.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Trailer