One of the best things a fantasy epic can do is get an audience invested in the world that’s put in front of them. Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves gives you a small, yet tantalizing, taste of the world of Faerun. And I’m saying this as somebody who didn’t care for Faerun before this movie.
Honour Among Thieves stars Chris Pine as Edgin Darvis, a man who’s desperately trying to see his daughter again after years in prison. Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) is Edgin’s best friend and a talented warrior. Simon (Justice Smith) is an amateur sorcerer descended from a great wizard (who might be familiar to older D&D fans). Doric is a tiefling druid abandoned by her parents and raised by wood elves who cares very deeply for the forests she lives in. These characters have a great dynamic that you don’t see in many adventure films. They actually feel like friends rather than characters playing a role.
The relationship between Edgin and Holga is another high point of the film.I liked the relationship between Edgin and Holga. They’re best friends but never even consider a romance throughout the film–something not commonly explored in film. Instead, their relationship is wholesome and platonic.
That isn’t to say the film is perfect. It ends very abruptly. While this is commonplace in a D&D campaign, it doesn’t work as well when adapted into a less freeform medium. I also felt like they could have done more with Doric’s character. She’s interesting, but she feels underdeveloped when compared to the others. That being said, she meshes well with the rest of the cast as an outsider looking in.
The writing is also formulaic. You probably won’t be surprised by any of the twists the film has to offer. But it does these formulas well, which can be just as satisfying as seeing something wholly original.
The film utilizes a mixture of practical and digital effects to create a living world. They could have used CGI to create species like the tabaxi. Instead, they opted to use practical effects, and the film looks better for it. Most of the film was shot in physical locations rather than on a green screen. This makes the outdoor shots look more realistic rather than artificial, like a lot of other high-budget films.
It’s refreshing to see a fantasy film that doesn’t go too far with its violence. It teeters on the edge of that PG rating but never oversteps it, even in some of the more intense scenes. There are a couple of cuss words in the film, but they never feel out of place and go beyond a PG rating with the vulgarity.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is a great film for general movie-goers and D&D fans alike.So if you’re looking for a good, light, fantasy film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, a film you can watch with older kids, or a parent looking for a fun adventure film to watch with your kids, this is a good choice.
I give this film a rating of 8/10.
Cover photo via dungeonsanddragons.movie