Rob Reviews "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"
I have said it before and I will say it again: you kids today don’t know the struggle. However, I can also say that I am glad I have gotten to the place where I saw things like “Dungeons & Dragons” get to the mainstream in a way that didn’t involve uniformed parents trying to ban it. Especially finding out that Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves would be the film that opened this year’s South by Southwest festival made me hopeful that there would be deliverance from the debacle that was the 2000 film of the same first three words.
This go ‘round stars Chris Pine as Edgin, who breaks out of prison with his best friend, Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), in order to get back to his daughter, Kira (Chloe Coleman) after the death of his wife. Using his quest for a relic that will bring his wife back from the dead, he finds himself in the middle of a fiendish plot to enslave all of the Forgotten Realms from the power of the Red Wizards. Along with a rag-tag team of allies, they know their time is short, their journey is long, and they will have to face everything imaginable along the way.
For guys like me that spent a chunk of their adolescence in back rooms of libraries or at friends’ houses with a mittful of dice and enough paperwork to kill a moose in the hopes of completing a campaign (this is what a typical game of D&D is called) victoriously, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves just works. It takes itself just seriously enough to tell a great story of adventure, danger, and intrigue but really brings a lot of humor and fun to the table that kept me intrigued. There are those that may scoff at the lack of “old English” speak, but for me that makes this film that much better. Instead of watching a book brought to the screen, I was able to see the characters as the personified versions of a bunch of people around a table going through a very intricately designed campaign by an expert DM (Dungeon Master, the person who controls the entire narrative of the game itself). Whether or not this was the intention of directors John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (who also co-wrote the script with Michael Gilio) is uncertain, but I find it hard to believe it wasn’t.
Rounding out the cast are such names as Rege-Jean Page (who is nothing short of wonderful here), Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman (from My Spy), Daisy Head, and Hugh Grant (who is two-for-two with me this year after Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre). All of these actors do more than their part in selling their roles and how they work into the bigger picture. Along with great visual effects, this film comes to life in a way I personally have been awaiting for a long time.
There are also some great “unadvertised” moments and Easter Eggs to this film that there is NO WAY I am spoiling so they can be enjoyed by the audience themselves. Not being someone that has ever been into D&D or RPGs (Role Playing Games) will not take away from the experience, but for those of us that have been will truly appreciate the work that has been put into this film with me laughing and cheering out loud multiple times within just over two hours.
I appreciate the fact that Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is getting a spring release, but it seems like the summer movie season is starting earlier and earlier each year. March is off to a VERY strong start for theaters, and this film is one that keeps the momentum of the few weeks before it rolling, so go check it out!