A tiresome threquel: Rashid Irani reviews How to Train Your Dragon 3
Third time isn’t the charm for the animated adventures of Hiccup the plucky Viking youth and his dragon companion, Toothless.
The latest and reportedly final installment in the blockbuster series finds humans and beasties living in harmony in their utopian village. Until the arrival of a malevolent dragon-hunter (dubbed by Oscar-winner F Murray Abraham) who is determined to exterminate the fire-breathing species.
It’s now up to our warrior hero (Jay Baruchel, back for a third turn) to fend him off and ensure that the dragon brood safely relocates to the ‘hidden world’.
Returning writer-director Dean DeBlois once again renders the backdrops with state-of-the-art photo-realism. Unfortunately, the 3D effects are murky. There is renewed emphasis on romantic relationships, but the courtships are a tad schmaltzy.
Worse, the action scenes and comic shenanigans give you an intense feeling of déjà vu — never a good thing for a threquel. Not enough effort is spent on developing the secondary Viking characters either as individuals or as a group.
…The Hidden World is, at best, marginally diverting.