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Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

March 31, 2023

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a movie based on the classic fantasy roleplaying game, and it offers a surprisingly enjoyable mix of comedy and adventure that has a fun, playing with a group of friends feel to it that I imagine will be quite appealing to fans of the game.

The main characters are Edgin (Chris Pine) and his friend Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), a pair of petty thieves who escape from jail so that Edgin can reunite with his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman), whom Holga helped him raise after the death of his wife.

Kira was sent to live with their old partner Forge (Hugh Grant), but he has seized power over their village of Neverwinter since they have been gone, and doesn’t want to give her up. So Edgin and Holga hatch a plan to get his daughter back, and are helped are their quest by the young wizard Simon (Justice Smith) and the shape-shifting Doric (Sophia Lillis), as well as storybook hero Xenk (Regé-Jean Page).

The main draw of the film is that it’s directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the same team behind the pleasantly surprising 2018 action comedy Game Night. Where as that film found the sweet spot between action and comedy, one of the main draws of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is the way that Daley and Goldstein are able to inject humour into the film without sacrificing its place in the fantasy adventure genre. The directors are able to bring a necessary lightness of touch to the material, without sidestepping moments of peril and heart.

The film does take a little while to get going in its first act, and it is a touch long at 134 minutes. But once the quest becomes clearer and the players reveal themselves, it settles into being an entertaining fantasy adventure that is buoyed along by enjoyable performances from its ensemble cast. Pine brings his usual charm to the role of a thief who prides himself on being able to talk his way out of any situation, while Rodriguez adds the right mix of toughness and nurturing to her character. Grant also manages to steal scenes, and has fun with his campy supporting role.

Along with the multiple side-quests and playful set-pieces, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves also features some good messages about the importance of building confidence, which seems to be what the game is all about for its players. But the film’s ultimate selling point might be that, while it offers a lot of Easter Eggs and callbacks for DnD players, it also works just as well for those of us who aren’t as familiar with the game.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opens exclusively in theatres as of March 31st.

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