‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves’ – Review
Grab your dice, throw on a cloak and prepare for an adventure because the fantasy comes to life in Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves and this is a strikingly original, funny, audacious and fun time out at the cinema that all will love.
A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure.
In 1973 maverick wargaming designer Gary Gygax took a risk and conjured what would become the greatest and most lauded fantasy roleplaying game of all time with Dungeons & Dragons. Amassing a legion of fans, countless quests and one of the most memorable pop culture institutions of all time, there is not a person on this planet who doesn’t know D&D. Now directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley have taken it upon themselves to resurrect D&D for the big screen and they’ve taken quite a gamble with this property. Audiences are in for a fun treat with Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves and this is a fantasy film packed together with plenty of craftiness, imagination and humour.
Settling on the idea of a daring heist genre piece with Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, Goldstein and Daley throw audiences right into the picture from the very opening moment. And the experience of Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is not what audiences will be expecting. Focusing on natural verisimilitude, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is a picture that will appeal to both long-time fans of D&D, as well as those who are totally new to the franchise and its story and style makes for a very fresh approach to the fantasy genre. While wizards and elves, swords and sorcery and quests and magic are all a part of this picture, what sets this film apart from other fantasy genre pictures is its laid-back humorous style and focus on a defined team picture where each of our characters helps to propel the story forward.
And what a crew we have for this picture. Taking the lead role is Hollywood leading man Chris Pine as Edgin Darvis, a former spy turned lute-playing thief whose canny personality hides a grieving widower and who ends up with a chance to prove himself once more; Michelle Rodriguez as Holga Kilgore, a hard-charging, heavy fisted barbarian who is Edgin’s voice of reason; Justice Smith as Simon Aumar, a would-be sorcerer whose in need of a bit of practice and whose spells aren’t quite up to scratch just yet; Sophia Lillis as Doric, a tiefling druid whose grand power of transformation and mastery over nature makes her a formidable presence; Regé-Jean Page as Xenk Yendar, a Thay paladin who is supremely cool and classy and makes for a completely dashing hero and Hugh Grant as Forge Fitzwilliam, an ambitious rogue and con artist whose conniving personality marks him out as a terrible sleaze. All have their moments on screen, and all of them are having a blast in the process.
In taking on this project both Goldstein and Daley knew they had their work cut out for them, and it’s clear that they threw everything of themselves as directors into bringing this project to life. Every part of this picture is exceptionally put together, and the rhythm and pacing of the narrative make for a very lively watch. Praise must be heaped on the cinematography of Barry Peterson whose dual use of camera movement and style leads to a kinetically-charged cinematic experience that moves at speed. And the music of Lorne Balfe helps to bring out the daring action of the picture along with its deeper dramatic moments.
From ferocious dragon battles and daring castle raids to moments of sheer hilarity and amusement, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves has it all, and more, on screen. The level of detail in this picture is incredible to witness and you fully feel every part of the world come to life. Plenty of in-game references are present throughout it from Red Wizard Lich’s to a very unique appearance of the infamous Gelatinous cube. There’s a richness and present attention to detail throughout this film that adds resonance to audiences. Added to this is a good mixture of wild fantasy adventure, some impressive magical CGI and practical effects and some outlandish humour, and well, you have a recipe for a very good time in the cinema.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is just a straight-up fun time out at the cinema and audiences who are looking for something new and different will be well rewarded. So gather your friends, and ready yourself for a quest because pure enjoyment awaits with Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves.
Image: Paramount Pictures