I finally saw this. As you can tell, I was in no hurry.
Overall, I enjoyed the film up until Hiccup's father dies
. After that, the film goes to hell for me. Maybe it's just because that moment wasn't given much attention after it happened; Hiccup seemed more focused on Toothless than grieving for his father
. Honestly, I was more impacted about seeing the white alpha die. It felt like that was supposed to be a stakes-raising moment, but it just sucked all the air out of the movie for me. I wasn't crazy about Hiccup's mother's
introduction, although I'll say Cate Blanchett did a great job trying to make that twist work. I thought she did a fantastic job, even though I didn't care for the development overall. That said, I did love the scene where Hiccup's father and mother reunited; the couple is like a better version of Elinor and the King in Brave, imo
The new dragon designs weren't as good as Toothless in any way, but they were okay; the only one I thought was clever was the mother's
dragon, the one that moved its head like an owl. The alpha designs were the worst though. The villain was absolutely awful. Not a threat, horrible voice acting, although the design had potential. Honestly, I looked in the credits to check because I was sure the villain was being voiced by Brad Pitt.
Honestly, the whole thing felt like an episode of the TV series. I think I might've come away with that impression because they spent so much time at no particular "location"--everything was in the air, or moving from here to here with no discernable landmarks. Barely anything happened at the village that was the focus of the first movie. Personally, I believe the movie would have been better if the father hadn't died until the third film, and the conflict was just Toothless becoming possessed by the alpha's call. That way, they could've built up the conflict with Hiccup not really wanting to be the chief, given an epic climactic fight at the village for this film ending with Toothless becoming the alphas, and also given time for Hiccup's parents to re-establish their relationship before the punch to the gut in 3. With this film, what could they possibly do with a third movie?
Am I the only one who thought Hiccup's girlfriend would become the chief? That seems like something she'd be better-suited at than him? Plus, she'd probably enjoy it.