- Published: Thursday, 30 March 2023 15:15
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Anyone with zero knowledge of the fantasy role-playing game (RPG) will enjoy the fun adventure in DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES starring scene-stealer Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, and Sophia Lillis. On the other hand, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game fans seem to enjoy the big-screen adaptation which is filled with Easter eggs and nods to the original source material.
Edgin, a charming thief, and his band of misfits set off on an adventure to recover a lost relic, but evil wizards and magical creatures hinder their efforts.
Like the fantasy role-playing game, each movie character represents the player types from the game such as the human, elf, dwarf, halfling, or wizard.
Written, directed, and executive produced by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the filmmakers had no easy feat in bringing to life the 40-year-old game. What we see on screen is a very familiar genre with similar beats but the characters are a different sort of ilk.
Chris Pine plays against type as the comic relief and bumbling thief. Pine and Rodriguez seem like an odd pairing, but the two make a dynamic duo as opposites who swap gender roles. His Elgin character is not your typical swashbuckling hero. Instead, the family man must be saved numerous times by Michelle Rodriguez’s Holga. Holga is the brawn, while Elgin is the inept ringleader. Pine is quite endearing as the man in peril, and he brings something different to the role.
The DUNGEONS & DRAGONS movie has a LORD OF THE RINGS vibe. The adventure takes you to numerous places, encountering different races of characters, but this version is much funnier and the filmmakers poke fun and counter the usual tropes.
The cast of characters is very modernized including representing a mixed family. Hollywood is progressing as it should. Having someone who looks like Michelle Rodriguez saving the day instead of the male lead is something we are not accustomed to. Some people complain it's too “woke” but representing the world as it is, is common sense. After all, this is a fantasy world and anything is possible.
Sophia Lillis’s elf character, Doric possesses the coolest power in the bunch as a shapeshifter, and the CGI is excellent. Hugh Grant plays the weaseling villain as expected. Regé-Jean Page has little screen time as Xenk, unfortunately, but he makes quite the entrance as the traditional hero in contrast to this group of misfits. Justice Smith is also endearing as a wizard in training. Daisy Head is quite terrifying as the wizard Sofina.
There’s a family aspect to the story, in addition to the quest which gives the action much more heart when what’s at stake is your family.
Non-gaming fans will get a kick out of the movie, as well as Dungeons & Dragons players. As evident from the crowd reactions during the screening, the adaptation provided plenty of throwbacks to the game, which I wasn’t privy to.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES is now playing in movie theaters.