FILM REVIEW — Dungeons and Dragons fans get their dream movie
Published 12:02 am Friday, March 31, 2023
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
Starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Rege-Jean Page, Sophia Lillis, Justice Jesse Smith, Chloe Coleman and Daisy Head
Dungeons and Dragons fans have long dreamed that their beloved role-playing game would get a big movie adaptation.
Their dreams turned into nightmares in 2000 with a mediocre movie, but they can rest easy with a new version hitting theaters this weekend.
“Dungeons and Dragons; Honor Among Thieves” is a lot of fun, and it works because it finds the right mix of charming characters, A-List actors, silly-but-exciting monsters and plenty of endearing humor.
Chris Pine scores most notably in the comic aspects of the film. He is very funny playing a bard who teams up with a barbarian warrior (Michelle Rodriguez) for a prison break that turns into a quest to save his daughter (Chloe Coleman), resurrect his wife and defeat a wicked sorceress (Daisy Head).
Along the way they enlist the help of an insecure sorcerer (Justice Smith), a shape-shifting druid (Sophia Lillis) and a stern, know-it all paladin (Rege-Jean Page).
Don’t worry if you don’t know what half of those titles mean. I must confess I’ve only played D&D once before in my life, so I’m far from an expert on how these things work.
Still, I had a blast watching this oddball collection of characters in this sword and sorcery romp.
I am assured that there are a lot of Easter eggs to keep diehard D&D fans happy, but perhaps more importantly, there are plenty of generic fantasy elements that will thrill audiences who don’t know anything about the game.
As for the story, the quest is a lot of fantasy nonsense, but nothing more outrageous than what you might see in similar movies. It’s the characters that make the journey so easy to endure, even if the film does run a bloated two and a quarter hours long.
Pine and Rodriguez have nice, heroic camaraderie.
Lillis has a lot of fun transforming into different creatures, while Pine, Page and none other than Hugh Grant deliver some very funny moments.
As for the dragon side of the equation, that’s a little hit and miss for me. Several of the mythical beasts are impressively rendered, but then again, many of them are a little too dumb to be taken seriously. Still, the action is well-choreographed and it’s generally quite thrilling.
“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is never going to challenge “The Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones” for a fantasy series crown. It has its sight set on something far more common.
The movie is content to give us memorable characters, fantastic creatures, some thrilling battles and a winning tone of good-natured humor.
The film nails it in each of these categories, resulting in a great, crowd-pleasing movie, but one that left me hoping that this merry band of adventurers will get many more cinematic quests in the years to come.
Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Orange Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at email@example.com.