Liam Ferguson reviews the newest adaptation of DnD
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is, without a doubt, the best movie of 2023 so far … if you’re a fan of the tabletop game. If you’re not a fan of the game however there is still plenty to love in this fun adventure flick.
The premise is quite simple, the charming bard Edgin (Chris Pine) must arrange a heist to steal a magical amulet that can bring his wife back to life. He gathers a party composed of a sorcerer, a barbarian, a druid and a paladin to set off his heist against the delightfully menacing Forge Fitzwilliam’s (Hugh Grant) castle. Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Regé-Jean Page and Michelle Rodriguez form the main supporting cast around Pine and each bring a massive amount of charm and humour to the story. With these characters comes a cute and entertaining premise for a fantasy movie, however it is elevated by the film’s clear adoration of its source material.
DnD is a game that thrives off of imagination and improvisation. A wrong roll of the dice can throw off an entire party’s plan and it is easy to get distracted from the main questline to venture off to weirder corners of the world. Honor Among Thieves embraces this kind of chaos. Through the course of the excellently paced 2 hour and 20 minute film, the leading party interact with a wide variety of strange creatures and places, pull random macguffins out of seemingly nowhere, and ruin their own plans in comical ways. Many of these plotlines might seem trite to audience members unfamiliar with the tabletop game, but for those well versed in it, it is a dream come true to witness on the big screen. That does not mean the movie is worthless to those who are not fans of the source material, it is still a remarkably well paced, fun, visually stunning fantasy film well worth seeing for all but obviously fans of DnD will get the biggest kick possible out of it.
The film is filled to the brim with stunning setpieces. The action sequences are kinetic and lively, the locations are gorgeous and the visual effects are a marvel to behold. This is due to the film’s seamless melding of practical and digital effects, which make for a visually engaging piece of art that blows some other recent blockbusters out of the water. Fans of the series will be happy to see the wide array of creatures and locations brought to life with so much care and those unfamiliar will be able to fall in love with a fantasy world new to them.
All in all, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a massive win for fantasy cinema. Through a charming cast that are clearly having the time of their lives, gorgeous directorial work and top notch visual effects, it really is not a movie to miss. With a series already announced for Paramount+ and the confirmation of a sequel film all but imminent, it is a great time to be a DnD fan as it may well be the next huge blockbuster.