HOW to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings the animated fantasy saga to a satisfactory, but somewhat underwhelming close.
Sure, the second instalment ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’, clearly the highpoint of the DreamWorks series, was a tough act to follow. But for a large part, ‘The Hidden World’ feels like an inferior rehash of the previous film, with much of the fire sucked out of its belly.
For the big franchise finale, Hiccup’s new reign as Viking chief sees him unsure where to turn in fulfilling his destiny to create a peaceful dragon utopia. His loyal dragon Toothless is drawn away by an untamed, elusive mate, while a formidable hunter has his eye fixed on claiming the head of the last Night Fury.
It all sounds great on paper, but it is only in the film’s final act when things finally heat up. The movie is slow to get going, bland in places and lacks the emotional punch of its predecessors.
But of course, the movie isn’t aimed at middle-aged cranks such as myself!
My children loved it, with my six year-old son even insisting it was the best of the trilogy. His nine year-old brother, who takes great pleasure in contradicting him at every turn, was for once, in firm agreement.
It’s just a pity it goes out more with a whimper than a roar!