Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Movie Review
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Movie Review Metadata
Look out freaks and geeks, the world is about to truly discover Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). As if Stranger Things making it mainstream didn’t already ruin the beloved game for nerds everywhere, Paramount takes the famous roleplaying game to the next level and turns it into the first of many films in a new franchise for the studio that can’t go wrong (recent releases include Top Gun: Maverick and Scream VI and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is just a few months away from hitting screens everywhere).
Centered around Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine) and his merry band of misfits, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the nearly 50-year-old game to life as Edgin and his petty thief friends attempt to recapture the resurrection tablet that they lost during a brazen heist years earlier. A heist that not only resulted in Forge (Hugh Grant), a conman working alongside them, betraying them, but also netting Edgin and closest confidante Holga the Barbarian (a super buff Michelle Rodriguez) behind bars.
Once a devoted family man, Edgin makes it his life mission to retrieve the resurrection tablet so that he can bring back his wife who was murdered as payback for Edgin stealing something that belonged to the evil Red Wizards. One prison escape later, Edgin and Holga build a new crew and make their way to take back what they feel is rightfully theirs from Forge, including a family reunion of sorts.
Darvis, a one-time spy-turned-thief is the leader – a guy who on the outside appears to have it all together. But like the others, he’s just another person struggling to believe in himself. Michelle Rodriguez says it best when describing how the film is about “finding your own hero within.” Stealing and scheming alongside him and Holga are Simon (Justice Smith), an inept sorcerer with low self esteem and Doric (Sophia Lilis), a Druid who can take the form of animals. As the film progresses, more is unveiled about each character’s backstory.
Credit co-writers and directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein for making the film accessible to the masses but yet still providing enough easter eggs to ward off fervent fans from trolling the film. Rather than relying heavily on CGI as far too many movies do today, the directors opted instead to build enormous creatures for the actors to play off of. A wise move that pays off in dividends.
The final third of the film that take place during the High Sun Games are perhaps the best with action and thrills guaranteed to entertain fans of the game and those simply seeking a fun time. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a summer popcorn movie delivered as an early spring gift.
And a film is only as good as its cast. Daley and Goldstein put together the perfect set of actors to star as the gang of failures alongside Hugh Grant playing a smug, slimy con man (or otherwise himself as a con man). Rounding out the cast are a smoldering Xenk (Regé-Jean Page) who suffered at the hands of the red wizards in the past and steps up to help Edgin and company, and Sofina, Forge’s right hand woman. In a movie that generally thrives with breakout performances, Page is the sole misstep, giving an otherwise anemic performance.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves feels a lot like a medieval cousin to Guardians of the Galaxy – from the use of popular music to drive up the entertainment value to not taking itself too seriously. The mix of action and humor is just the right amount and a cameo by a well known actor as Holga’s ex-flame adds even more laughs to an already funny and fun film.
This isn’t the first attempt at bringing the tabletop role playing game to the big screen. Nope, that honor belongs to New Line Cinema who released the appropriately named Dungeons & Dragons in 2000. A commercial flop, somehow the film resulted in an made-for-TV sequel in 2005 and then a direct-to-DVD film in 2011. Unlike those films, however, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves welcomes a cast of popular actors and a monstrous budget (reportedly $150M+) to go along with the many monsters in the movie.
Can’t wait to see what comes next!