Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023) Review
I had the chance to go out and see the new Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves film at the multiplex this weekend. The charming fantasy heist movie written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley of Game Night and Spider-Man: Homecoming fame was something I was very much looking forward to. I was intrigued because I’ve been a D&D fan myself for many years, but also because the buzz about it had been good. Given the poor reception of previous D&D-branded flicks, I went into Honor Among Thieves with high hopes but measured expectations.
Honor Among Thieves stars Chris Pine (Wonder Woman 1984, The Contractor) as Edgin, the leader of a cobbled-together group of thieves embarking on a heist. Edgin is a former entertainer who belonged to an order of spies called Harpers, who seek to root out tyranny and corruption in the fantasy land of Faerun. But Edgin’s cherished wife has died. Bereaved Edgin raises his daughter Kira with his best friend Holga (Michelle Rodriguez, Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil: Retribution). With his avarice, he slips further and further from his order. At the story’s beginning, Edgin goes on a quest to retrieve a Tablet of Reawakening to resurrect his late wife.
Needless to say, it doesn’t go well. Edgin’s avarice gets the best of him, and a wealthy noble friend Forge (Hugh Grant, Paddington 2, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre) sabotages the heist with the help of a wizard. All of this exposition and backstory might seem laborious, but it gets us up to the present, with Edgin and Holga in jail at Revel’s End at the backside of Icewind Dale.
Just seeing that map and the name gave me a thrill, with the books I’ve read and the campaigns I’ve played in the Forgotten Realms. Quickly, Edgin and Holga bust out of jail on the back of an Aarakocra (a humanoid bird-person) to go get Kira and from there, our journey begins.
Honor Among Thieves was pure, unabashed fun for me. I was not expecting that. I could say that the new John Wick was a mixed bag, despite Keanu Reeves somberly delivering the most satisfying action film of the decade (or maybe since Logan). Honor Among Thieves was a complete 360 degrees from that. Light, fun, full of comedy for newcomers, and packed with references for the D&D fans. The film efficiently delivers a straightforward plot with quick pacing.
Visually speaking, the film’s CG special effects were beautiful, and I was not surprised to learn that they filmed on location in Northern Ireland and parts of Iceland where Game of Thrones was filmed. The spells and monsters that appear on screen aren’t named, but D&D fans will recognize them.
But the real glue that held Honor Among Thieves together was the well-written characters and their camaraderie. Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez trade in soldier’s gear and fast cars for lutes and armour, and their chemistry results in a great buddy adventure flick. They go out in search of the help of a taciturn druid named Doric (Sophia Lillis, It, Gretel & Hansel), a talentless sorcerer named Simon (Justice Smith, Jurassic World: Dominion, Sharper), and a handsome paladin, Xenk (Jean-Rege Page, Bridgerton, Mortal Engines).
From there, the motley crew of adventurers is assembled. I was strongly reminded of the Jumanji movies for the comedy and team dynamic. With the clear rapport the cast all held with each other, the breezy Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was a delight to watch.
Paramount has released Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves to theatres you can check local listings or the film’s website for showtimes. Check out the trailer for the movie right here. And if you want more fantasy, FilmTagger can suggest some viewing options.