‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ Review

I don’t know why Hollywood rarely makes this kind of movie anymore. A refreshing film, with a great cast, a ton of laughs and some epic action sequences. D&D is the first major surprise of 2023!

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer has jokes, one fat dragon - Polygon

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.

I never played D&D growing up and never thought much of the material or the game itself, but when the movie was announced and we started getting little bits and pieces of the product, it piqued my curiosity. When I heard the two guys behind Game Night, one of the more underappreciated and underrated comedies of the last decade were helming D&D, I knew it would be a hit. So now directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are two for two in their directing outings.

The recipe is simple for this, a band of misfits are trying to get back what is rightfully theirs. There’s no reinventing the wheel here, but this movie didn’t really need that. We’ve had big fantasy action/comedy movies before, but it seems not recently. Everyone in the film is just so damn likeable, Edgin (Chris Pine), Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), Simon (Justice Smith), Doric (Sophia Lillis) and Xenk (Rege-Jean Page). Each is interesting enough in its own right, and given enough screen time and backstory to make you root for these heroes. They all had terrific chemistry with one another and played off each other’s strengths really well. Much like the game D&D, they all have their own unique abilities and traits about them that help in one-way shape or form. Some being more powerful than others, it was cool for them to showcase their own individual powers, while also working best as a team. This is a story about family, friendship and in the end doing what is right. I thought Justice Smith was the standout of the movie as the magic wielder of the group and thought he was just the true driving force of the film.

In movies like this, you’re always going to get a corny villain and that’s exactly what Hugh Grant did. His character Forge a great con-man is crossing paths with our group the entire film, jeopardizing Edgin’s family. Stealing away his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) and using the powers of the powerful Red Witch Sofina (Daisy Head), I just thought Hugh Grant totally understood his assignment and chewed up the scenery and was exactly the type of bad guy this movie needed. There are plenty of fun action sequences and set pieces sprinkled in. One involved a very chonky dragon that was cute as heck. But the third act is strong, it’s rare for movies like this to stick the landing, but that was by far the best part of the entire thing. The team all working together, showcasing their abilities and taking down the bad guy is what we came to see. Some strong emotional beats as well, this movie does have some heart to it.

In a world where we are now getting a new comic book movie every few months, it seems like, where it all feels the same and it’s honestly painted by numbers at this point, D&D felt like a breath of fresh air and something we needed. A fun family fantasy adventure flick that flows well, and will be an enjoyable theatre experience. We can’t fail these types of movies because we need more of them to come out. Now D&D doesn’t need to be insanely franchised, sure a sequel will do. But it doesn’t need spin-offs and numerous amounts of films. We just need more movies like this.

Dungeons and Dragons = 73/100

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