Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
It is a wild and charming romp through The Forgotten Realms and Neverwinter. Chris Pine is at his most charming as the thief Edgin. Michelle Rodriguez is as badass as her usual self as the fighter Holga. Justice Smith does a rather fine job as Simon, a failing magician. Sophia Lillis is absolutely captivating and funny as the Tiefling Doric, even if much of the action takes place with her swapping through CGI forms. Regé-Jean Page’s Xenk was written similarly to Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy with much more polish. Hugh Grant plays up the conman persona as Forge perfectly.
Dungeons & Dragons is certainly not a perfect movie by any standard, but it is a ton of fun, and much more fun than the previous visit to the franchise, though I do have a soft spot for the goofiness in the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons film. There are more than enough inside references that fans of Neverwinter Nights, Stranger Things, and the 1980s animated series will find a lot of fun. Plus, if you were came for a serious film, you really need to get your head checked. Or watch a trailer. Because this is not that kind of film.
The film begins in a prison as Harper Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine) and barbarian Holga Kilgore (Michelle Rodriguez) explain the history of him as a Harper, the murder of his wife, his daughter’s survival, a betrayal by the Wizard, and their attempt to steal a Harper artifact that would resurrect said dead wife.
They then escape the prison and go off to find Edgin’s daughter (Chloe Coleman), but find that Forge Hugh Grant), a thief that he had entrusted his daughter to, was now the Lord of Neverwinter. He double-crosses them, now in league with the Red Wizard that had betrayed them. And thus, they need to get the band back together again, but this time with a Tiefling druid named Doric (Sophia Illis) in the mix.
Along the way, they encounter deadly enemies, portals, the fattest dragon in existence, and a maze filled with monsters and wayward adventurers from the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon.
But the dragon, oh how glorious the dragon is. Instead of being a lithe and menacing presence like Smaug, it is a huge, fat beast that mostly slides towards the party, trying to eat them with the least amount of effort possible. At one point it accidentally rolls over, and instead of scrambling to regain its footing, it continues to roll after them, trying to eat them with each roll.
If you’ve seen the previews, the story and ending should be no surprise, but it does tie up nicely like a well-versed DM ending the adventure on a high note. It was much more fun than I expected, and getting to see it early as an Amazon Prime member was a bonus as well.