REVIEW — Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Dragons, Wizards, and Owl Bears, oh my! A charming action-adventure comedy with non-stop gags, heart, and humor, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will quickly have you under its spell.
The film follows Edgin (Chris Pine), a Harper and bard who abandons his oath after the death of his wife and takes up a life of thievery to support his young daughter, Kira (Chloe Coleman). Along the way, he encounters; Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), a brave and ruthless barbarian who becomes an ally and surrogate mom for Kira; Simon (Justice Smith), a wizard-in-training; Sofina (Daisy Head) a mysterious witch; and Forge Fitzwilliam (Hugh Grant), a con-man who leads the band of misfits on a heist for riches and an ancient relic that could grant Edgin the power to bring back his lost love.
Unfortunately, the plan goes sideways and Edgin and Holga get imprisoned for grand larceny and skullduggery. After a year of hard labor in an icy tundra, the betrayed thieves make a hilarious escape to reunite with Kira. In their absence, the gang has disbanded and Kira has been turned against her father by adoptive “uncle” Forge, who is now a Lord of a wealthy port city that he controls thanks to the dark powers of Sofina.
After confronting Forge and escaping with their lives, the duo track down Simon and form a new team of role players that includes animal shape-shifter Doric (Sophia Lillis) and stoic paladin Xenk Yendar (Regé-Jean Page), a noble warrior who doesn’t traffic in colloquialisms. Together they must journey across mystic lands, go deep into the depths of a dragon’s den, and survive a gauntlet of Mazes and Monsters to rescue Kira and save the world from eternal darkness.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves possesses the same charm as fantasy classics like Willow and The Mummy. This is thanks in large part to a dynamite script by directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Game Night) as well as Michael Gilio and Chris McKay. The writing and directing duo know how to balance large-scale CGI action set pieces with fast-paced, witty banter.
The film also features a solid cast of role players. Chris Pine shines as Edgin. Filled with Mad Martigan energy and self-assured swagger, he embraces this role with the same roguish charisma that put him on the map as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek (2009). As the Cavalier and Magician, respectively, Page and Smith deliver deadpan comedy like seasoned pros. And Grant is hilariously devilish as the dastardly backstabber Forge.
Even with a running time of 2 hours and 14 minutes, the film moves along at a solid pace. While indeed a long movie, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves does not contain any fat. Each scene serves to deepen the bond between the characters, provide more backstory, and build out the grand world of D&D. After a goofy 80s cartoon and a failed big screen attempt, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves finally brings the rich world of the legendary roleplaying game to cinemas complete with Easter Eggs and an Owl Bear. Huzzah! 4.5/5
Rated PG-13, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opens in theaters on March 31, 2023.