Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Review

Reviews Films




Paramount Pictures rolls the dice with its new fantasy adventure film – Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Directing/writing duo John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (Game Night) are hoping to capitalise on the massive success of the role playing game, and although this isn’t the first attempt at adapting the tabletop game onto the silver screen, Paramount is hoping it will be the best iteration *tries to forget 2000’s D&D film*.     

A charming thief – Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine) leads a motley crew of unlikely adventurers, which include Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), Doric (Sophia Lillis), Simon (Justice Smith) and Xenk (Rege-Jean Page), as they embark on an epic quest to retrieve a magical relic that will bring back Darvis’ wife. Their charming adventure goes horribly wrong when they cross paths with the tyrannical Lord Forge (Hugh Grant) and his right-hand woman, Red Witch Sofina (Daisy Head).

As a self confessed ‘big dumb nerd’, I feel a great sense of shame admitting that I’ve never played a game of Dungeons & Dragons. I hoped I would enjoy this film based on its trailers, my love of the cast and the action/adventure genre, but I did have some concerns about how accessible the film was going to be to normies like me… But I can safely say you don’t even need to know how to roll dice to enjoy this epic campaign. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a brilliant fantasy adventure for fans of the genre. The film is genuinely funny, with a lot of heart and a sense of playfulness that doesn’t let up. The film features a vast array of characters who all get multiple moments to shine. Everything is in top form – from the writing and directing, to the incredible practical effects and stunt work. As long as you’re not expecting a J.R.R. Tolkien’s timeless classic, there is plenty of fun to be had.    

Director/writers John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, along with co-writer Michael Gilio (Kwik Stop), knock it out of the park. The way they balance the immense lore of D&D but still make it very accessible to everyone is no easy task. I never felt swamped in exposition or hindered by my lack of D&D knowledge, though I imagine there are plenty of easter eggs for seasoned players. Good writing and directing can only take you so far – it’s the actors that you spend time with that can make or break the film. Thankfully, our adventurers are all stellar. Pine is his usual brand of charming idiot, Rodriguez is badass as always, and Hugh Grant is hilariously quirky and slimy, yet endearing. The actors I was a little worried about were the ones I was least familiar with – Page, Lillis and Smith. I needn’t have worried as these three managed to go toe-to-toe with their more established co-stars, with Smith especially bringing a lot of humour to the group as the woefully useless sorcerer. 

There weren’t many things I didn’t like about D&D to be honest. I would say that the low point was unfortunately the villainous Sofina. Her character is incredibly bland, and her sinister plan was uninspired at best. I don’t believe Head’s performance is to blame, it’s that the character is such a generic baddie and has no real layers. Another issue I had was with the plot. It does sometimes get a little bloated with so many elements at play. Towards the end as things felt like they were starting to wrap up, more story was introduced which felt slightly jarring. 

I walked out of the cinema thoroughly impressed with the care that was put into Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Though Chris Pine said it best in his interview with MTV News – “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is like Game of Thrones with less sex and more funny”. A great adventure awaits those of all ages especially fans of the game or fantasy genre. 

Rating 8/10