Thursday, 10 July 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Cate Blanchett channels Tom Cruise

Things are so bad these days in Mexico City that if you insist on not watching the World Cup, you could wind up watching How to Train Your Dragon 2, where Cate Blanchett does worse things to Irish accents than Germany did to Brazil. As we know from earlier exercises, Cate is better at being a French person than French people are, and in HTTYD2 she’s better at doing the worst Irish accent in the world than Tom Cruise, the previous record holder. It’s an animated movie; all Cate had to DO was talk, but apparently spending a week of so in a looping booth didn’t give her time to get into character, and her accent derails every scene she’s in and even some that she’s not in. The one good thing about it is that whenever she’s on screen you kind of forget the other accent disaster of how an island full of Scots vikings with no outside influences could breed a pack of irritating teenagers who all sound like Californians.

Good stuff; if you’ve always wished Gerald Butler would just DIE but you don’t think that 300 is kid-friendly, this is the movie you’ve been waiting for. If you’ve always thought Quidditch wasn’t quite stupid enough, the opening sequence will make your day. (If you’re JK Rowling’s IP lawyer, you’re probably hissing like a kettle made out of the Statue of Liberty about three minutes into the sequence and just flat out detonating when they produce a black sneetch, sorry, sheep, which is worth enough to win the whole game in one go even if you haven’t scored at all up to now.

It’s tempting to pretend to analyse the whole thing as though it were a carefully thought allegory of something in the real world, but I couldn’t think of a funny enough through line. Are dragons an allegory for air power? Is the movie trying to tell us that if air power falls into the hands of faceless hordes led by some dusky complected scar-face, fear and terror will befall the world, whereas if cute dumb Californian accented moppets and their comedy Scottish sidekicks are running the airpower, only bad folks will get their houses and lives exploded? What’s the message in having Kristen Wiig voice a lanky teenage girl who spends the whole movie ogling beefcake? Is it a clever comment on how teenage boys snigger at girls while leering at their arses, or is it supposed to represent female empowerment to do the same thing? Does Kristen Wiig really have nothing better to do than leer “Me likey” at random hunks?

Bizarrely enough, the director says that he based this movie on The Empire Strikes Back. I think I’m just going to let that sit there. No, wait. Does that mean that the third one is going to have Ewoks?

1 comment:

Maurice said...

Er, Scotland and Ireland are two completely different countries, dude.