By Santiago Brion | April 10, 2023
A movie 10 years in the making, “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is a reboot based on the iconic tabletop fantasy role playing game. The adaptation follows a ragtag group of outlaws and nobodies who band together to fight a powerful wizard of the dark arts and steal back a relic from their former associate who is the lord of a kingdom called Neverwinter.
Chris Pine plays Edgin Darvis, a bard who leads the party, singing songs while on a quest. Joining the cast of characters are his best friend, Holda Kildore played by Michelle Rodriguez, young sorcerer Simon played by Justice Smith, and druid named Doric played by Sophia Lillis.
The film perfectly lived up to the movie’s marketing which promised a fun and hilarious fantasy made for D&D fans. It did not disappoint. Almost everything in the movie is practical down to its makeup, costumes and partially, it’s action sequences. Ray Chan, the production designer crafted most of the set pieces making the world of D&D feel almost real. John Francis Daley, the co-director, shared behind-the-scenes footage and pictures on his Twitter account of dragon head animatronics and mechanical bird costumes.
The direction from Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley is especially impressive considering they are both real life D&D fans, like their characters in cult-classic TV show “Freaks and Geeks.” The movie features a split diopter shot, a partial lens that attaches the front of the camera which shows off every piece of information in a single frame.
Michelle Rodriguez steals the show with her presence and brawn. She is handcuffed in one scene, and manages to take out a guard with her hairstyle. Chris Pine stands out with his comedic timing and surprisingly good singing voice. Simon and Doric do not get as thorough of a backstory as the main characters, but they make up for it with their shining action scenes. Simon proves to his ancestor that he has what it takes to be a powerful sorcerer while Doric infiltrates the Neverwinter castle and tries to escape by transforming into animals.
The Lord of Neverwinter, Forge Fitzwilliam, played by Hugh Grant, is a slimy and jerky villain with just the right comedic relief, while Daisy Head’s Sofina is the typical world-threat that needs to be stopped. Rege-Jean Page plays Xenk Yendar, a paladin, and did pretty well with the role that he was given. If only he had enough screen time.
Overall, “Dungeons & Dungeons: Honor Among Thieves” is a fun, high fantasy romp which has potential to bring back the fantasy movie genre. It’s comparable to “The Princess Bride”, “Monty Python & the Holy Grail,” and “Willow and Legend” just to name a few films with similar energy. Its ensemble cast is wonderful to watch with a major celebrity cameo, impressive practical and special effects, direction that is specifically made from the love of D&D, and great comedy that never grows stale.
I give it a 9/10.
Dungeons & Dragons is now playing at Regal Crossgates and Regal Colonie Center