Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves – Not just for nerds
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a 2023 fantasy heist action comedy film directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. With an all-star cast featuring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant, the film endeavours to take viewers on an exciting and entertaining journey through a world filled with magic, action, and humour.
I went into this film with very high expectations – and honestly, it delivered in a way that left me wanting more and hoping for a sequel – even in a world saturated with sequels. The plot of Honor Among Thieves is enjoyable for both fans of Dungeons & Dragons and casual viewers alike who have never played the game before. The film is filled with clever references and jokes for seasoned players of the tabletop game, while also being accessible and engaging for those unfamiliar with the D&D world. The well-paced story follows a group of lovable misfits as they embark on a quest to clear their names, find treasure, and save the city of Neverwinter from a sinister plot.
One of the standout elements of the film for me is the fight choreography, particularly Regé-Jean Page’s execution of his action sequences. As Xenk Yendar, a paladin with a tragic past, Page brings a perfect mix of intensity, grace, and skill to his role and a fantastic deadpan delivery of his lines; a lot of which are funny, but his character takes things extremely literally so it takes a different sort of delivery that landed well every time. I only wish we got to spend more time with the paladin.
The other cast members also deliver strong performances, keeping the audience engaged and entertained throughout the film – Pine is a strong lead, doing a great job of playing the role of a Bard named Edgin (who in D&D are often the punchline of many jokes) in almost a tragic way; he’s funny, but has a sincere and serious backstory that pushes him forward throughout the film as he comes to term with his characters past.
While the film is an enjoyable romp through a magical world, it also has moments of depth and emotion. The characters each grapple with their pasts and the choices they’ve made, ultimately learning valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice.
The visual design of the film is another high point, featuring stunning landscapes, colourful magical effects, and intricate costumes. Jarnathan’s practical costume, for example, showcases the incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into the film’s production design.
The ending of the film was actually quite satisfying, as the antagonist is defeated in a visually fantastic battle but leaves room for a sequel in what I expect has the potential to become a beloved franchise in the future – and you’ll catch me in the audience at the cinemas for every iteration.