[Blog Post] [06/21/2014]
After I saw the film last week (it was good, honestly), I couldn’t put my finger on the things I found wrong with it. I just had this forboding feeling of something…missing. After a week of contemplation, here’s what I came up with (warning, spoilers):

1.) The movie’s pacing is messed up. It’s fine for the first two-thirds or so, but once the villain shows up, everything is rushed. Character development, character deaths, the first final battle, the second final battle…all felt like a cliff notes of something I should be seeing more of.

2.) The villain honestly isn’t all that good. He’s there to yell and be evil and say evil things and scream while waving his stick around. He doesn’t really have any nuance to him in a world full of characters with nuance.

3.) Speaking of the villain, we have a world of prosthetics that are just peglegs or barely-functional metal hook-legs…but this guy has a goddamn arm straight out of Captain America 2 or FullMetal Alchemist. And he doesn’t do shit with it, it’s pretty much there for shock value. And the movie doesn’t try to draw any parallels between the villain, who’s missing an arm and controls dragons through hate and force, and the hero, who’s missing a leg and has won the trust and love of dragons through kindness and study. It was a total lost opportunity, like half of his scenes were written out of the film.

4.) The side characters do absolutely nothing for the entire film. While Hiccup’s getting character development and world-building with his mom, Astrid and the others are just running around, being inconsequential and getting no development whatsoever. How have they changed in the five-or-so years since the first movie? Evidently, hardly. Which is bullshit.

5.) Speaking of side characters, don’t tell me shit about how "feminist" this movie is, when Hiccup’s mom does nothing in the climax, Astrid does nothing in the climax (and does nothing in the entire movie except get captured to introduce the villain), and Ruffnut does nothing in the climax (and does nothing in the entire movie except ogle a dude and get captured to introduce the villain). Everything important in this movie is either done by Hiccup or his dad. And maybe his mom, at least until the writers realized that the movie needed a villain and a climax. Female bystander syndrome - give them a few token scenes of them being awesome and toss them aside for the actual pivotal stuff.

6.) The mechanics of the Alpha are inconsistent, both within its own film and compared to the first one (where it was touched upon). When first introduced, it seemed like the Alpha needed direct eye contact or needed to be in the actual visual vicinity of the dragons it wanted to control. This is supported by Hiccup putting a blindfold on Toothless for maybe five minutes in the last battle. Yet, when the Alpha comes to Berk, dragons that are sleeping and don’t even see it are magically controlled, moving like zombies. It also didn’t have the explicit zombie effects in the first film with the Green Death, even though the queen/bee parallels are made obvious in that movie.

7.) The final battle in particular is so horribly rushed. Again, Hiccup puts a blindfold on Toothless for maybe three minutes…an entire sequence where Toothless trusts Hiccup to guide him in the right direction in danger? Fucking amazing. But…then they just drop it. That’s it. Token scene of him putting the blindfold on Toothless, they do two or three aerial maneuvers, and then it falls off of him dramatically so Hiccup can use his wingsuit to punch out generic villain guy. And the battle is won by Toothless literally Mega-Evolving into…Toothless with blue glow (aka "Mega Toothless X" or "Toothzilla"), problem solved. That is literally all that happens. What about his mom killing the villain? Taming the Alpha? Breaking the Alpha’s control over the dragons so the entire village of Berk can fend off generic villain guy and his army on their beloved dragons? God, that would’ve been awesome.

I loved the first two-thirds of this movie, and then it was a bunch of decent things badly rushed and stitched together for the sake of having a climax. And the thing that kills me is…so many people are going to claim this movie is perfect, and feminist, despite being so fundamentally flawed in the last third that it left me wanting. Surely I can’t be the only one with these issues, right…?
About Systems

I am a computer programmer who resides in the slightly-less-Frozen-North.

I love coding, electronic music, video games, Pendulum, anime, eating, a good night's sleep, Starbucks Frappuccinos, Vocaloid, and cats.

Huge fan of Caligula's Horse, Knife Party, Madeon, Pendulum, Porter Robinson, Spor. Listens primarily to video game music, OverClocked Remix tracks, electro house, and drum & bass.

Important Programming Stuff

Languages that I work in on a constant basis: JavaScript/jQuery, PHP, SQL

Languages that I work in for homework all the time: C/C++

Languages I'm well-acquainted with: C/C++, Java

Languages I'm somewhat-acquainted with: Perl, Python 2

Languages I'm learning for fun: Python 3

I am very well-acquainted with Linux - my favorite distro is Arch Linux, with Lubuntu being in second. I know how to install and run Linux-based server software and how to code on them remotely.

If you would like my resume, LinkedIn, and/or portfolio, please contact me at SystemsOnlineAndReady AT gmail.com.

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