Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a Simple and Satisfying Adventure

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer

Plot: A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.

Review: In the year 2000 we got an award-winning Dungeons & Dragons movie, and by award winning I meant it swept the Razzies (the Oscars for terrible movies for those who don’t know) as it was possibly one of the worst fantasy flicks the genre had ever seen.


Fans of the game would have to wait an entire two decades for someone brave enough to attempt another go at it (not counting the awesomely good D&D inspired television series The Legend of Vox Machina, the 2005 made-for-TV movie Wrath of the Dragon God nor the 2011 direct-to-DVD The Book of Vile Darkness). This brings us to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. And while my only familiarity with this world is through pop culture osmosis, I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre, so I decided to see if this tale fared any better than the last. And I’m happy to report this one isn’t just for D&D fans but lovers of the fantasy genre as well.

The film stars the likes of Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman) Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast & Furious Franchise) Rege-Jean Page (Bridgerton) Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu) and Hugh Grant (Love Actually, The Gentlemen). This mythical tale follows Edgin (Pine) and his loyal warrior bestie Holga (Rodriguez) as they escape from an icy prison after being captured when a heist to steal a valuable magical object (as well as tons of gold) goes wrong. Hoping to reunite with Edgin’s young daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman), they learn she’s been brainwashed by fellow thief/con-=man and once friend Forge (Hugh Grant) who is now working with an evil witch Sofina (Daisy Head). Forced to go on the run, they team up with well-meaning but bumbling wizard Simon (Smith) and changeling Doric (Sophia Lillis) with the hope of finding a way to rescue Kira, rob Forge of his riches and save their world from the machinations of Sofina.

How I stare at my pot stickers in the pan

It’s always tricky trying to respect fans and the core material your story is based on while making sure general audiences can follow along, but that’s exactly what directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein manage to pull off with their fantastical tale. D&D: Honor Among Thieves made some smart choices by not going too big with the story, reminding me of older fantasy movies like Willow and a personal favourite Krull (I make no apologies for loving the latter). Instead of trying to do too much world building, they never lose sight of the simple tale of a bunch of unlikely heroes who each have their own hurdles to overcome while also trying to help a friend achieve his goal of rescuing his daughter and maybe saving the world in the process.

Chris Pine is perfect in roles such as these as his natural charisma and effortless charm with just the right notes of silliness never fails to make audiences smile. Michelle Rodriguez has made a career out of playing strong characters, but she always felt a bit underutilised in those roles, but not so here. Holga isn’t just all brawn but for maybe the first time ever, Rodriguez gets to be smart and sweet as well as a badass. I would say she’s like a female version of Drax here but that wouldn’t be quite right. Strangely enough it’s Rene-Jean Page’s turn as the seemingly perfect warrior knight Xenk who comes across like a mix between Drax, Sheldon Cooper and Superman. I know that sounds ridiculous but see him for yourself and tell me that description isn’t right on the nose!

I’m not fat. I’M BIG BONED!

While this goofy adventurous tale provided a lot to like, it wasn’t without its flaws. The CGI for instance wasn’t that great and was probably hampered by the film’s budget. It wasn’t terrible mind you, but it was quite noticeable and made me wish they used more practical effects in those scenes. There are also moments where the tone shifts and things don’t flow quite as well. I think the movie is at its best when it’s not taking itself too seriously, but the minute things get darker there’s a sense of awkwardness in the performances and it affects the overall quality of the story. For me fantasy films are at their best when they fully embrace the myth and magical aspects. For instance, there’s a scene where the gang is being chased through a dungeon by a dragon (hey!), a very VERY fat dragon. It’s hilarious because it’s something I’ve never seen but it was also engaging because said dragon was tenacious as hell! The movie needed more moments like these because every time the group slowed down the story would lose its energy, almost grinding to a halt.

If you’re not a D&D gamer I recommend waiting until this starts streaming to give it a go, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeing. Honor Among Thieves isn’t a great fantasy movie but it is a good one. With all the references and easter eggs I can see fans of the game having a ball watching this while general audiences will walk away entertained but probably won’t find themselves wondering about what comes next for the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Score: 6.5 out of 10

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2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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