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Movie review: More action, higher stakes in 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

Published June 13, 2014 4:39 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There is more flying and more danger in "How to Train Your Dragon 2," a sequel to the 2010 animated treat that shows more isn't necessarily better.

It's five years later, and the Vikings of the rocky village of Berk live harmoniously with dragons. While dragon races go on in Berk, the inventive Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his black dragon, Toothless, fly around to explore the fringes of the known world.

They find Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett), Hiccup's long-lost mother, who works to protect a colony of dragons from the warrior Drago (voiced by Djimon Hounsou), an old foe of Hiccup's father, the chieftain Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler).

Writer-director Den DeBlois, who co-directed the first one, raises the stakes with Drago's threat on Berk and the dragon world, as well as heightening Hiccup's relationship with Toothless and the rekindled romance between Stoick and Valka.

But the effort sometimes feels overwrought, weighting down a light, frisky franchise with too much epic mythology.

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'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

Opens Friday, June 13, at theaters everywhere; rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor; 102 minutes.