Movie: Dungeons and Dragons Honour Among Thieves
Production Companies: Paramount Pictures, Entertainment One, Allspark Pictures, Hasbro Studios
Directors: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley
Producers: Jeremy Latcham, Brian Goldner, Nick Meyer
Scriptwriters: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Michael Gilio
Main Cast: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Rege-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Hugh Grant
Release Date: March 31st 2023 (US)
Running Time: 134 minutes
Well this was pretty fun wasn’t it? Now, I’ll admit when I saw the trailer for the film I was not excited at all. However, Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is a fun watch which does go a bit too Thor Love and Thunder with jokes at times. But, that aside it’s a stacked film which really plays to the strengths of its ensemble and also has some wonderful visuals and CGI work. Oh and as the poster says, there’s also an owlbear so what more could you want? So, with the film actually delighting critics and fans alike, what better time is there to review Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves? Also, obligatory SPOILER warning… Now without further ado, here is my review of the film.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves follows a group of, you guessed it, thieves as they try to recover a magical item which can bring people back from the dead. Oh, also it’s loosely based on the game thanks to location names, the roles of the titular thieves and the lore. And again a lot of this is going to be people’s names and roles so I do appreciate that it can be confusing for either non-players or people who haven’t seen the film. Anyway, when Edgin Darvis (Pine), a former harper now bard, escapes prison with his friend, Holga Kilgore (Rodriguez) an exiled barbarian and surrogate mother to Edgin’s daughter, Kira, they try and assemble a team to get Kira back as well as getting revenge on their former associate: the rogue Forge Fitzwilliam (Grant).
This team includes the druid Doric (Lillis), the sorcerer Simon (Smith) and the paladin Xenk (Page). Well, partially Xenk as he turns up for 25 minutes then is never mentioned again…. Anyway, in order to save the world and Kira the thieves have to take down Forge and his red wizard necromancer Sofina before she unleashes the Red Death. I did warn you that there were a lot of names and roles.. Now with the synopsis out of the way, let’s get into the analysis portion of the review now.
Chris Pine’s Performance in Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves
To begin my analysis of Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, I’m going to talk about Chris Pine’s performance as Edgin Darvis. Now, the question I’m sure some of you are asking: where does this performance put him in the great Hollywood Chris Off? Well, up to second for now as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is yet to be released. Anyway, Pine puts in a pretty good performance as the charming and rubbish planner Edgin. Take as an example, the scene where he and Holga break out of prison by using a flying peacekeeper to jump through a window. Now, here we see where the jokes of the film slightly struggle although credit to Pine for the joke of forgetting where he was in his story he was telling.
Also, the running joke of him wanting a certain peacekeeper not because the other peacekeepers aren’t giving him a fair hearing but because as I mentioned he and Holga use him to jump out of a window. Another good example of his fun performance is when he tries to rally the gang before they rob Forge. Here, we see his desperation and need to save Kira as he tries to hold the gang together just long enough to complete their quest. Are there better Chris Pine performances? Absolutely. But this performance is just generally very fun and enjoyable for the most part.
Visuals in Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves
Continuing my analysis of the film, I’m going to talk about its visuals. Now, considering the fact it cost $150 million you’d probably expect the film to look pretty good. And it really does, with the locations really helping to immerse the audience into the film’s world. Take for example, the Underdark where Xenk hid the helmet which Simon needs to access Forge’s heavily protected vault. Anyway, while it does look slightly like the Nether in parts the visuals of the Underdark do still look pretty good.
Because if you’re going to have a fight in an environment which makes the audience believe the fighters are in danger, you may as well have it be in an underworld surrounded by lava against undead warriors and the dragon version of James Corden. Get it because it’s a big dragon? Anyway, the other great visual example is the arena in Neverwinter which is in no way similar to the Maze Runner. Even with that aside, it’s still a thrilling visual experience of the group running through the maze as the gang realises the maze is a trap. Consider me shocked… So, overall it’s a visually good looking film which naturally draws comparisons to other fantasy films.
Rege-Jean Page’s Performance in Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves
To conclude my analysis of the film, I’m going to discuss Rege-Jean Page’s performance as Xenk, the noble paladin. Now, while he’s only in the film for about 25-30 minutes he still nearly stills the film. So, what makes the performance so good? Well simply put, how serious and straight Rege-Jean Page plays Xenk. Take for example, the many scenes of Xenk not understanding colloquialisms or jokes. This is a great example of not just a funny performance but the film’s jokes landing. Anyway, the performance is also great for the chemistry he has with the rest of the cast, particularly with Chris Pine. The best way I can describe their interactions is you and that one mate who doesn’t get any jokes.
This naturally leads to Edgin constantly sending jokes over Xenk’s head while Xenk stands there with a mixture of smouldering and confusion. Also, the fact that even Xenk acknowledges how much help he could be to the crew in their attack on Neverwinter yet still chooses to leave is brilliant. Especially, as Rege-Jean Page just gives off so much effortless charisma as he walks off just adds another wonderful layer to his performance. Honestly, is anyone down for a Xenk spinoff film?
To summarise Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, this is a fun adaptation of the game which has enough references and in jokes for players while still remaining fun for non-players. It’s also got good performances, particularly from Pine, Rodriguez and Page, and visuals even if jokes land flat occasionally. Oh, also it has a Bradley Cooper cameo and an Owlbear so if that doesn’t sell the film to you I don’t know what will.
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable
Target Audience: 12+
Content Warning: Moderate Violence and Gore, Mild Profanity, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes