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Review: Dungeons & Dragons - Honor Among Thieves
No Experience Necessary
A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.
I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons in my life. Maybe I would have were I say an eighties kid rather than a nineties kid, but I never got into it. So I wouldn’t say that a brand new movie for the franchise was in my radar going into this new year, even if it featured names like Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Regé-Jean Page, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head, among others including a cameo from an A-lister and consistent Oscars’ nominee that I was not prepared for.
Then came the trailers and the rest of the marketing which was…not good Bob. I have to admit that as much as I try to keep an open mind as a film critic, something that quite frankly I think film criticism needs more of these days when it comes to these genre and IP franchises, I was taken aback by the good early reviews I was seeing. The movie that had those cringe-looking trailers? Really?
Well I can happily say that I was wrong and marketing did this movie dirty. Yes as with most fantasy stories you can’t help but to have some corny things seep in, but for the most part the writing in this handled the franchise with care while also making it accessible to those of us who go in completely blind and knowing zero about the lore and world building that makeup franchise. There’s real comedic moments in here that for the most part don’t feel forced. It helps create an atmosphere of fun that will make this an audience-friendly movie.
But what I truly appreciated about this film is that its got that old school fantasy action/adventure type of storytelling. This is a group of heroes who actually go on a grand adventure that includes sidequests, meeting all kinds of characters, solving puzzles, and fighting off all types of danger. Granted I thought it started to run a tad too long by the end, but the film delivers a true to form epic quest that makes our protagonists earn their happy ending.
My nitpicks would be that the CGI looked a tad rough in some places; and there’s a little too much reliance on flashbacks - though to the screenplay’s credit it does execute these in a way that other movies have failed to so that the pacing doesn’t suffer too much.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a fun ride that all audiences can enjoy at their local theatre. Its the kind of film that makes you enjoy going to the movies even if you’re not watching some grand masterpiece play out in front of you on the big screen. This is a solid B+on my end, and one of the best films of the first quarter of the year.