Movie review: "How to Train Your Dragon"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The 3-D-ification of the movie-going experience is a trend that isn't likely to change for a while. If you want a hot stock tip, invest in whatever company makes those little plastic glasses.

Movies in 3-D can be hit-and-miss, and the inflated ticket price makes them a gamble. I found the multidimensional treatment of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" to be a bit, well, flat. But for an example of 3-D done right, check out DreamWorks' computer-animated "How to Train Your Dragon."

A Viking teenager with a scrawny build and an unfortunate name, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) lives in a village where fighting dragons is the measure of a man's worth. He doesn't measure up, to the chagrin of his burly father, Stoick (Gerard Butler).

But when Hiccup's attempt to slay a dragon leaves one wounded he - wait for it, wait for it - finds himself a new friend.

"Dragon" has a pretty good mashup of elements from proven winners, with hints of "E.T." and some "Harry Potter" stuff. It's quite predictable, though, and some of the jokes are a bit flat.

But what looks like a cut-and-paste kids flick is actually a pretty thrilling action movie at times. The lush visuals and fire-breathing action are almost as good as what you get in "Avatar," with none of the preachy blue-people nonsense!

It's a pretty good movie in 2-D and a definite recommendation in 3-D. Check it out before "Clash of the Titans" pushes it out of those 3-D-equipped theaters in a couple of weeks.

"How to Train Your Dragon"

Now playing

Grade: A- in 3-D, B in 2-D