I was an former D&D player from back in the day and so when I heard they were doing a new version of the game in live action I thought… meh. The reason I thought that was there have not been any good versions of Dungeons & Dragons on the screen, live or animated, big screen or small one, yet. The closest it came was the old animated TV show from the 1980s. There have been some just horrendous adaptations since.
The early trailers looked okay, but then a few weeks ago, I saw a trailer at the theater with a voice over and that trailer was just terrible. It made me not want to go see the movie.
Despite positive word of mouth, I went to the early access event at Cinemark to see Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves a week before it was officially released and I had my doubts.
I am happy to say that my worries were unfounded and that this movie was a lot of fun and presented the audience with one of (if not the)best versions of the role playing game we have ever seen. It was a great adventure and it gave us a fantastic spirit and feel of being in a group going through an adventure.
Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) were in a prison camp, hoping for a pardon for their crimes. They had been captured during an attempt to steal a relic that Edgin could use to raise his wife from the dead. Unfortunately, this meant that Edgin had to leave his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) with his con man friend Forge (Hugh Grant).
When the pair escaped from their prison, they discovered that Forge had assumed a position of power and had been behind them being captured.
Edgin and Holga formed a team, which included their friend, the insecure sorcerer Simon (Justice Smith) and the shapeshifting tiefling druid, Doric (Sophia Lillis), and they came up with a series of plans to try and re-steal the artifact and free Kira.
The cast is excellent here. Chris Pine is so over-the-top that he fits this role beautifully. He just feels so genuine in his performance that I believed everything he said and did. And he was extremely funny. Hugh Grant was also a hoot as the slimy Forge. Both Sophia Lillis and Justice Smith gave their characters just enough traits and heart to make them easy to root for and they displayed some definitive chemistry not only with each other, but the entire ensemble.
The story absolutely felt like a D&D adventure, with the side adventures and the confrontations with the creatures of the world. The special effects looked real solid. I believed they were fighting a dragon when they were fighting a dragon (even though one of the dragons they fight is not the typical dragon you are used to seeing).
The film’s comedy worked very well, reminding me of the type of comedy one would see in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. There was an absolute Marvel flair in the humor (in the good way). I could not help but get a few reminders of Monty Python and the Holy Grail during the questioning scene in the graveyard. It was easily the funniest moment of the movie.
I was not as fond of the Red Wizard, Sofina (Daisy Head) character as it reminded me too much of the Enchantress from Suicide Squad. Still the third act with this character went much better than the third act of that movie.
This may have been a touch too long and could have benefitted from cutting maybe one side encounter, but it was truly an overall fun time at the movies and, by comparison to other D&D properties, this was a massive home run.