Film: "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (animation), Director: Dean DeBlois, Rating: * ½ (one and a half stars)
Do yourself a favour this festive weekend, use your time for more constructive endeavours. Maybe that molar surgery which you have been avoiding? Or a visit to a really boring uncle who puts you to sleep even before you reach his home.
"How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" pans out the story from the earlier two films, both of which were pretty ho-hum in conception and treatment. But at least they qualified as faintly fascinating fluff.
This one is not even halfway there.
It is an embarrassingly low-calibre eco-friendly flick with splashy artwork and silly animation pitching in for true inspiration. The third film in the series is so blatantly an attempt to stretch a successful idea that it seems an embarrassment for all concerned.
Our young hero Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) is still enamoured of dragons and he still protects and preserves them the way normal people would care for their family.
The fire-spewing dragons are designed in shades of blotchy fantasia. Big bulky unwieldy creatures oscillating merrily between fun and fearsome, mostly the former. I mean, who gets scared of computer-generated animation?
There is a villain -- Grimmel, the Grisly voiced with eclectic menace by F. Murray Abrahams. He wants to capture all the dragons for his own selfish concerns. He's welcome to them.
But hang on.
There are more good souls in this film than bad. The villains get easily outnumbered and outwitted. There is romance too. Between two dragons a black and white one. Think there is a message of racial harmony in that fiery liaison. But two dragons flying to the tune of dreamy piped music is not my cup of tea.
The good news is that this is the last part of a trilogy.
This strenuously designed animation film makes you wonder whom it is aimed at. Children don't watch such sassy mush. Grownups? Hell, they'd rather see "Captain Marvel". As for us, there are other far more relevant dragons to slay this weekend. Let's take a vow to watch "Kesari".