Film Fans: 'Dragon' appeals to audiences young and old

EDITOR'S NOTE — Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "The Bounty Hunter." Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

3 1/2 out of 4 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The only complaint I had was the title. Dreamworks should have called the film "Dragons." The lead character did not really train dragons, he just learned about their behaviors and put that information to good use.

I appreciated the fact that the humor was cute and sweet. This was the nicest group of Vikings I have ever seen. No potty humor or crude jokes to be found. The movie also stayed away from any pop culture references, which was appropriate for the tone and setting of the story.

Overall, this was a great film for kids and parents alike.

— Laurel Grams, Lawrenceville

3 1/2 out of 4 stars

The creativity and imagination of this movie is impressive. Geared to youth and young adults, it has the detailed elements to hold the attention of seniors as well.

Here, you have a Viking community living with the constant threat of flying dragons whose origins and true character are misunderstood by all but the littlest Viking of all, Hiccup. Hiccup's dad is the ultimate warrior who thinks maybe there was a mix up at the clinic when Hiccup was born as surely this undersized boy who seems gripped in fear and uncertainty could not be from his loins.

But in the end the small kid shows the greatest heart and courage, gets the beautiful girl and finally earns the love and respect of his father.

Whether intended or not, there are major spiritual overtones and messages in this movie that promote it to a higher level. The art design, music and character development are all over the top in this splendid work.

See it for the fun, magic and teaching value it instills in all. See it with someone you love.

— Rick Wright, Auburn

3 out of 4 stars

A "dragon" is not on the list of creatures that a child would like to train or befriend.

Toothless is a Night Fury, the most threatening of the many varieties of dragons that regularly attack the Viking village of Berk. The dragons fly in at night, set fire to the village and make off with as many sheep as they can carry, hence the name.

The movie starts with one of these dragon raids, narrated by a pint-sized Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel). Every teenager in the village is being raised to kill dragons, except Hiccup. He has been assigned to the blacksmith's shop. Creative with metals, he invents a cannon/catapult that actually manages to knock Toothless out of the sky.

No one, including his father Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler), believes him when he claims he have shot down a Night Fury, which gives Hiccup the chance to sneak off the next day and find the creature in the woods. They examine each other and Hiccup sees fear and surrender in the creature's huge green and golden eyes and no menacing teeth in his mouth. He is too compassionate to actually slay the injured dragon, and this is the beginning of a cautious care-taking relationship that would eventually become a secret friendship between Hiccup and Toothless.

This is a heartwarming story of friendship and not judging a book by its cover. Heroes come in all types and sizes.

— Gail Nunez-Blackshear, Lawrenceville