This is gonna be a bit off, as I have no reviews up for either of the previous two films. So I'll have to give away a bit of the whole story between the first two, but I'll try to keep it relatively spoiler-free (for those who care).
To make a very long story very short, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) befriends a "Night Fury" dragon, despite frequent dragon attacks on his Viking home town of Burk. He names him Toothless, and discovers that dragons aren't to be as feared as they are.
Soon, Hiccup dedicates himself, along with a team of teenage misfits consisting of Astrid (America Ferrera), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (Justin Ripple) to rescuing and housing captured and misunderstood dragons, giving them a home and protecting them from the various dangers of the human world.
On this particular outing, we discover that Toothless isn't the only Night Fury out there, after the previous films have pretty much suggested it. Upon discovering this new dragon, legends come up of a "Hidden World" where dragons of all sorts live in harmony. This could potentially provide a better home for Berkians and their now overpopulated town of dragons.
In the meantime, a dragon hunter named Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) is discovered to be trying to capture this new Night Fury, and he and Hiccup find themselves at odds - Hiccup now being pretty much a leader-type since his first appearance when he was deemed a bit of a wuss. So much of the film is trying to get the dragons to the Hidden World with Grimmel hot on their heels the whole time.
Granted, it's a bit of a rushed explanation for everything, but what you really need to take away from it is that it rounds the trilogy off really nicely. If you liked the first two, this one is really no exception as far as quality goes. The flying scenes look incredible, especially in in 3D, and it's our usual combination of comedy, drama and all out adventure. On top of that, I greatly appreciate the overall development of Hiccup's character through this trilogy.
The film ends on a nice note where it genuinely seems to wrap things up. However, I said the same thing about 'Toy Story 3' which makes me almost dread a 4th movie just because of the fans and easy money. I'm not opposed to 'Toy Story 4' per se, but that really was a solid trilogy that ought to have just ended, saving whatever's left over for TV specials and the like. I'm kinda hoping this just sticks to what it is and doesn't feel the need to keep on going. Hopefully the same filmmakers can get another project off the ground instead.
Anyway, this is a trilogy that I could recommend to just about anyone. It's great storytelling combined with likable characters and solid development that takes place over several years. We really do get to watch Hiccup grow up through this. Add to that the comedic aspect as well as a lot of it tugging at heartstrings, and we've got one of the more solid overall trilogies of the past decade. At least, that's my humble opinion. I know it's only the end of February, but this will get its Oscar nom for next year, I'm sure.
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