Whether you’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons (DND) for years or have only just heard of the tabletop role-playing game, “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is a movie that anyone can enjoy. Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstien, this film is packed with action, adventure, mythical creatures and witty, endearing protagonists. The story follows the charming thief, Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine) and his barbarian partner in crime, Holga Kilgore (Michelle Rodriguez) as they escape prison to recruit a team of unlikely heroes to steal an ancient and powerful relic—until they find that something dark and powerful is working behind the scenes.
As someone who has been playing DND for over four years, I had very high expectations for this movie—all of which were met. It was clear that the creators of the film knew the source material well, and created an epic and entertaining film within the familiar world many players are so fond of. The dialogue was natural, yet incredibly witty, which is a testament to both the writers and the actors. The soundtrack added so much to the immersiveness of the film, transporting the viewer to the unique and magical locations the characters journey to on their quest. The plot was engaging and well-connected, filled with several twists that had me on the edge of my seat, asking how these heroes will overcome the challenges they face.
While I greatly enjoyed this movie, it did have its faults. One thing I was not very fond of was the amount of flashbacks the film uses to convey a character’s past or show important events. Using a flashback here and there won’t take away too much from the experience, but when it’s happening every couple of scenes, I find that to be a bit distracting from the narrative. Another thing that could have been used were the visual appeal of the non-human characters, like the Aarakocra (Bird humanoid) council member or the Tabaxi (cat humanoid) mother and child. During my first watch of this movie, I didn’t even realize that the creatures were done using practical suits rather than using CGI, but the puppet-like appearance of the characters was a little jarring when next to more realistic looking humans. I think that something could have been changed in their design or altered post-production to make their appearances seem a little more realistic. Besides those few aspects, the movie was visually stunning.
While this movie can absolutely be classified as a fantasy adventure heist film, there is so much more to it than just that. It’s about overcoming personal weaknesses, persisting through countless failures and choosing your own family.