I’ll Review Anything: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (SPOILER FREE)

It shames me to confess this but, despite me being a geek, I don’t like playing Dungeons & Dragons. I didn’t like playing the tabletop game with the Dungeon Master and all that. I didn’t care for the video games, like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Eye of the Beholder. It’s not like I tried, though. I liked reading the rulebooks, mostly for the descriptions of the monsters. But the thought of spending weeks on a singular campaign filled me with dread. When it came to the video games, I was more into JRPGs rather than the more Western style the Dungeons & Dragons template created. I guess I did like the cartoon series in the ’80s. That was silly fun.

But despite having little love for Dungeons & Dragons as a whole, I do respect the entire franchise. Which is a huge part of the reason why I was looking forward to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. I mean, it looked good and it did look and feel the way I imagined a good adaption would be like. Well, I’ve just seen the film and, I’m happy to say, it’s just as good, if not better, than I expected.

By the way, as the film is just being released all over the world now, this is going to be a SPOILER FREE review. Just had to put that out there as early as possible.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves follows the criminal bard Edgin Davis and his party to rob a former cohort of theirs who betrayed them. This leads them on a quest to find an ancient relic to help them in their scheme but, little do they know, they might have bitten off more than they can chew. As this is a SPOILER FREE review and the trailer doesn’t really dive into detail, that’s all I’m going to say about the plot. This does feel more like a heist film set in medieval times at times but it still never loses sight of the Dungeons & Dragons feel.

One of the things I love about the movie are the characters. The party is a motley crew of general down-on-their-luck unlikely heroes, making them instantly the underdogs of the story. They’re also a very likeable group with disparate characteristic and personalities. The banter between them is also pretty good, thanks to how different they are. They are a bit quippy and stereotypically predictable at times but, thanks to the performances, it’s more charming than cringe.

I guess that is mostly a testament to the actors as everyone does pull their own weight. Chris Pine has to really pour on the charm as the witty bard Edgin. He doesn’t actually have any fighting skills so he usually takes a backseat in the action. But, because of Chris Pine’s performance, you can believe he can get by with his wits. Michelle Rodriguez is the barbarian Holga, Edgin’s main partner in crime. She also has the most physical role as she is the main fighter of the party. But Michelle Rodriguez still does a good job during the slower parts, even pulling out a chuckle worthy line or two.

Justice Smith also does a fine job as Simon, the sorcerer with very limited abilities, despite being the descendant of one of the best wizards out there. We don’t get to see much of Rege-Jean Page’s paladin Xenk but he does manage to make a strong impact with the limited amount of screentime he gets. Hugh Grant’s Forge, the rogue who betrayed them, is a real good as he really does come off as someone who would be willing to side with true chaotic evil to get his way. I would even say Daisy Head, who plays the evil Red Wizard Sofina, does a fantastic job as she carries herself as very heartless and scary. Sadly, the weakest performance for me was Sophia Lillis’ Doric, a tiefling druid with the ability to shapeshift. It’s not exactly a bad acting job per se. It’s fine most of the time but her line delivery does feel a little flat at times.

The action in Honor Among Thieves is all pretty good. There is a level of creativity in them and they do utilize the Dungeons & Dragons setting very well. It’s supposed to be a fantastical adventure and, like the title there are a few dungeons to go through as well as a couple of dragon encounters. I will say there are one or two of them that do feel a little tacked on as if the writers either needed to really get to that 134-minute runtime or they needed to put something to pump up the adrenaline to keep the pace moving. I’m not complaining, though, as, like I said, they’re all really done well.

The overall plot does feel a little disjointed but still engaging overall. There’s a lot of moving from place to place and, in the grand scheme of things, it all does fit together. But, at the same time, the script could’ve been just a little bit tighter. The party also just seem to have the necessary magic macguffin or the character “levels up” at the most convenient times, which did come off as deus ex machina. It’s still fun and never really broke my suspension of disbelief.

I will say the weakest part of Honor Among Thieves is the special effects. The costumes and the practical sets are all really good but the CGI elements really plummeted down the uncanny valley. The world of Dungeons & Dragons is filled with mythical creatures. Sadly, a lot of them look fake and they don’t really feel like they’re solid pieces of matter. This also holds true for the magical locations the party travels to and you can just see Chris Pine and company acting in a room filled with green colored walls. It’s not exactly bad CGI; it’s just CGI you don’t believe.

I will say Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a great watch. I can’t help but think how much more awesome a time I would’ve had if I were more familiar with the lore, with things like the land of Thay and Red Wizards, for actual Dungeons & Dragons fans to chew on. Still, as a general neophyte when it comes to all things D&D, things are explained just enough so you can follow along and not get lost. The cast of characters are very easy to get behind because of how charming they are and the punchy script as well as the fun plot are well worth the ticket of entry. It never really rolls a 20, signifying a critical hit, but it does hit a sweet spot.

Have you seen Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!


One thought on “I’ll Review Anything: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (SPOILER FREE)

  1. Pingback: Five Inconsequential Questions from Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves | 3rd World Geeks

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