In the first movie Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, is the son of the chief of his village. He is expected to becomes a great dragon killer, and a all around fearsome viking. He instead comes to care for the dragons and sees they are not the evil creatures everyone thinks they are. He unites the two and they fight a big bad dragon in the end. Simple enough but we see a lot of growth. Dragon 2.0 is 5 years later. Hiccup has changed the village to be more like him, but he still does not want to be part of it. His father wants him to take over as chief, and he has no desire to do so. He simply wants to fly around and map out the surrounding areas. As in the first book, he is more interested in Knowledge then anything else. While traveling he finds out there is a man named Drago Bludvist who is trapping and controlling dragons to make a army for conquest. Hiccup gets his attention and he decides to take his villages dragons. There is a big fight and that is the story. There is a side story that goes on about Hiccups family, but I won't ruin that for you. It was the one decent thing the movie had going for it.
So the story is weaker, and we have already met all these dragons so the wow factor is gone. They do introduce some new species, but it is not done with the same exuberance as the original film. As this is more of a battle movie then the first, you would assume that is where the movie would shine. Sadly not so much. The flying sequences in the first film out shine the ones in this one. Hiccup has fashioned a flying suit so he can soar around with his dragon. It was a cool idea but they seem to focus on that more then trying to create exciting moments around the dragons. The flying portions are still neat, but simply don't get the attention they did in the first film. The battles also seem quite tame, which is odd as they are the main focus. The trappers won't kill the dragons, as they want them. So there is no real suspense for the most part. The dragons won't really kill the people either, as it is a kids movie. There is a lot of flying around, and a few focused moments of combat, but it just feels lacking. The big moment of the film does involve somebody finally killing somebody else, but it was not enough to save the film. Also the final fight was just a dragon sitting still taking pot shots at a much larger foe.
So less excitement, a bland story....so what does the movie do right? Well the visuals are still cool. The animation is well done, and if you enjoyed the original you will still enjoy this one. It may not be as good, but it is still far from bad. It seems to lack the direction of the first film, and doesn't seem as focused on providing a quality story. But the story is still fun for what it is. The humor was hit or miss for me, miss more often then not. But it was still nice to see more of Hiccup and Toothless. If you have kids, they won't care about the parts I didn't like. While I did expect a lot more, I still had fun with it.
Trailer has a Huge Spoiler in it....as they all seem to these days. If you have not seen much advertising for this movie yet, maybe skip the preview.