Tuesday, February 26, 2019

[Film Review] How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Lifting off as the third tale in the wonderful How to Train Your Dragon series, the fiery and fun The Hidden World astounds and tugs at your heartstrings. 

After the events of How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) has taken pride in his duties as Chief in the sprawling village of Berk where vikings live peacefully among dragons. But their existence is threatened when the film’s evil villain Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) concocts a plan to steal and enslave all the dragons, including Hiccup’s beloved, winged companion Toothless. From there, Hiccup and his friends set out to find The Hidden World (an “unreachable” utopia which may or may not exist) in order to deliver the dragons to safety.

This final installment is just as fantastic as the predecessors, and it continues with the same lofty ambitions and wide-eyed spirit. The animation is absolutely dazzling and immensely detailed, down to the striking shadows to the textured grains of sand. There are plenty of beautiful sequences, from electric blasts through storm clouds, to flights through skies painted with aurora borealis, to journeys through luminescent caves. The film also boasts some thrilling action and combat sequences, but the most powerful moments come from the quieter, calmer scenes — like Hiccup’s tender flashbacks with his late father, along with Toothless’ playful courting scenes with his newfound mate. Truly majestic. 

Get the tissues ready, because the last 15 minutes of the film pack some intensely emotional wallops, building upon each other like bittersweet daggers to your heart. It’s so gorgeous. A magnificent crescendo of culminating endings. I’m getting teary-eyed while writing this review. 

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World perfectly concludes a trilogy that soared to the greatest of heights.

* 9/10 *

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