6/10 The first “How to Train Your Dragon” came out of nowhere in 2010 and was a fantastic breath of fresh air and in an animated field dominated by Disney and Pixar, gave Dreamworks a hit that wasn’t just financially successful but critically as well. The sequel was a letdown in comparison and had some glaring plot issues but we have finally reached the conclusion to this trilogy, nine years after it started. This movie doesn’t reach the levels of quality as the first film but instead aligns closer to the sequel. Like the first two movies, there are some aspects that really stand out as fantastic. The animation itself continues to be awe inspiring and the cinematography work by Roger Deakins’ consulting continues to steal the show. John Powell has now scored all three of these movies and although the first film’s score is the best, he continues to put in beautiful work here. The voice cast is also fantastic (although I have mixed feelings about dropping T.J. Miller from the voice cast) and the new additions fit in perfectly. The movie does have some glaring problems to note, however. The biggest issue that stuck out to me was the use of supporting characters. Despite its problems, the second film had a strong supporting cast with important character arcs with characters like Hiccup’s parents and Kit Harington’s Eret. None of these side characters have anything to do this time around and instead we have crap like 15 minutes of running time dedicated to Jonah Hill’s character being jealous of Eret and having a crush on Hiccup’s mom, which was a waste of time. Toothless gets a love interest and although seeing them together is indeed cute, since they aren’t human and can’t speak, we don’t get any real character development there and the supporting human characters are shoved to the side. The villain is also a lot less intimidating than the villain in the second movie. Finally, the ending, which I won’t spoil, left me a little disappointed. Although there is some beauty and cute moments to be found in this movie, don’t expect this movie to ever reach the high bar set by the first film. Due to slightly diminishing returns, perhaps it is best that, like the dragons that this movie talks about, this franchise disappears from society.
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