"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" stealing honor and admiration for a fan-favorite fantasy franchise
April 13, 2023
"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" provides hilarious high fantasy fun for all ages in a pretty looking adventure tale.
Regardless if you're familiar with the source material, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this live action game adaptation.
This anti-hero's journey, directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, follows Edgin (Chris Pine) and his ragtag band of mythical misfits: barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), sorcerer Simon (Justice Smith) and druid Doric (Sophia Lillis). Two years prior, Edgin and Holga were attempting to steal the Tablet of Reawakening with their former allies Forge (Hugh Grant) and the red wizard Sofina (Daisy Head), but were betrayed and left for imprisonment.
After Edgin and Holga break free from prison, they assemble a team of unlikely heroes to retrieve their long-sought Tablet. In their absence, Forge rose to power and causes the team fantastical grief of fanciful proportions.
As it turns out, critics love "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" for more than just the merch handed out before IMAX screenings and the fact the trailer plays before the movie itself. What looked like a goofy cash grab in the trailers turns out to be a goofy goodtime that puts every other attempt at a "Dungeons & Dragons" movie to shame.
It's a legitimately funny movie with a fun cast and a fun premise. There are running jokes like Holga's potato obsession and Chris Pine's over-the-top "Chris Pine-ness" that put a smile on your face. Just like the game it's based on, the movie prides itself on creative world building that immerses you in an alternate reality. With that comes no shortage of fan service for the devoted followers of the game. Fans of "The Lord of the Rings" or "Narnia" movies will get a kick out of this movie as well.
A high fantasy movie such as this can only work with convincing visuals, and this movie looks amazing. Most (but not all) of the CGI is flamboyant, yet precisely serving the exact purpose it needs to. There are epic creatures, thoughtful costuming and minor elements.
The visual effects aren't the only thing making this movie look cool. There's a running filmmaking technique where the camera vertically pans in 180-360 rotations. The first time the camera whips a dizzying 180, it seems like a one-off trick or technical experiment. However, since it revisits this unique stylistic element several times throughout the movie, it acts as a thumbprint for this film.
At the very least, "D&D: Honor Among Thieves" is cool for its genuinely scary villain and a butt-kicking redhead, which are two elements that more movies need. This is an extremely entertaining flick that exists for more than just promotional purposes and paves the way for future potential sequels.