PG Score: 8/10
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was released in theaters on 3/31/23
There are times when having low to no expectations of a movie can lead to a great theater-going experience. I had heard of the game of course, but it wasn’t until Stranger Things that I got a chance to see the game in action. Mythical beasts and monsters, wizards and knights, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves has its own little magic. In this fun story of honor and greed, love and family, we get this ragtag group of nearly unscrupulous thieves who find out what really matters and is worth fighting for.
Flying Out of the Gate
The beginning of Dungeons and Dragons is a wild ride. I compare it to the time my friend tricked me into the Avengers ride at Disney Paris. Here I was thinking I was in for a casual enjoyable little tour ride. Instead, I’m in the darkness spinning over and over again freaking out. That’s how this movie starts. We jumped from one location to several more locations in quick succession with no regard for world-building and I loved it. Beautiful visuals and just a glimpse at how huge this world is. The pacing helps in telling the story and introducing certain characters as well, by getting the viewer up to date with relative speed so that we could get into the meat of the story.
Humor and Danger
The humor in D&D was not something expected, but it helped make the movie a whole lot of fun. Chris Pine (Star Trek) has most of the best lines, and his bard-like character, Edgin, works really well with Michelle Rodriguez's (Avatar) tough, yet vulnerable in love, Holga. Their motley crew is filled out by a mediocre wizard with confidence issues in Justice Smith (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu) and a human-distrusting shapeshifting being in Sophia Lillis (It).
There is danger and tension throughout the film, but it never really feels like our characters are in mortal danger. Is that due to the humor laced throughout the film? Or the fact that it is based on a game? I'm not sure, but it isn't enough to take too much away from what was an enjoyable movie-going experience. What works so well and helps balance the story is that our four so-called heroes stumble through the story really having no idea what they are truly doing and making it up as they go along. It is simply a matter of them failing upwards, as the expression goes.
Fun, Impressive Elements
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is one of the better adaptations from a video/board game that there has ever been. Heavy on laughs and light on the mortal danger, it is the fake-it-'til-you-make-it attitude of Edgin (Pine) that truly propels the story and helps our characters become one. Excellent visuals, each location is unique in how it is represented, regardless of how long we spend there. The combo of makeup and VFX work pretty seamlessly together, making the unbelievable more believable when it comes to some of the far-fetched characters existing in this world.
Good for Gamers and Noobs Alike
Do you have to be a fan of the game to see this movie? Absolutely not. You can go in blind and enjoy this film, regardless of if you ever played the game. It is a fun tale that seems shorter than its 134-minute run time and had me and the rest of the crowd laughing throughout. Do you need to see it at the theater? Not necessarily, but if you have a 4K TV at home you will appreciate all that went into this film. If you were going to pass on Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, I urge you to reconsider and give it a chance. It is a lot of fun and it has plenty of dungeons and dragons for everyone.