Mimic? Check. Gelatinous cube? Check. An adorable Owl Bear? Check. A super charismatic paladin? Double check!! I can go on and on with cross-checking the references and how faithful the characters are to their role-playing game (RPG) counterpart but for the sake of people who are not familiar with Dungeons & Dragons, let me go through the highlights of the movie (minus the spoilers) through the lens of someone who doesn’t know anything about it.
For starters, watch the trailer here:
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves follows the story of a group of adventurers, an unlikely party, who got hired to steal a powerful artifact, only to run into dangerous obstacles and the wrong people along the way. The movie begins with the Bard and Barbarian escaping prison, bringing forth adventure after adventure onto the big screen as they tick off their bucket list of plans. A lot of things happened within the span of 2 hours and 14 minutes, I can’t even immediately identify which part was my favorite after watching it on IMAX. Watching the movie felt like playing an entire DnD campaign with random side quests, misadventures, and plot twists along the way!
The film features an all-star cast, including Chris Pine as Edgin the Bard, Michelle Rodriguez as Holga the Barbarian, Regé-Jean Page as Xenk the Paladin, Justice Smith as Simon the Sorcerer, Sophia Lillis as Doric the Druid, Hugh Grant as Forge the Rogue, and Daisy Head as Sofina the Red Wizard of Thay. Directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the screenplay was written by Goldstein, Daley, and Michael Gilio, with a story by Chris McKay and Gilio, based on Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons.
Casting was spot-on, I don’t think any other actor could’ve played the role of the Bard as good as Chris Pine. His whole personality was Bard-like in an annoyingly funny way. Even though I was expecting a different vibe from a Barbarian, I’m extremely biased when it comes to Michelle Rodriguez playing the tough girl roles so watching her play the soft-hearted Holga was a treat. Her fight scenes were just as awesome as her performance in Resident Evil and Alita: Battle Angel, too! And if you thought your Paladin already has enough charisma, wait ’til you see the level that Regé-Jean Page is on. It can make everyone around him — movie-goers included, swoon over how amazing of a person he is. Justice, Sophia, and Daisy were also memorable in their roles. I wanted to be like Sofina the Red Wizard even if she was a villain! Despite the serious façade, every character had their own punch lines and it’s impossible that you won’t laugh or at least smirk at a scene or two throughout the movie!
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves knows how to cast a spell on its audience, keeping everyone hooked on what’s going to happen next. You can watch it with your friends who play DnD, with your family (kids included), or even alone since it’s rated PG-13 for fantasy action/violence and some language. I bet you and whoever you’re with would want to know more about where all these things were based on after seeing the movie. I’d say it’s also a good introductory material if you want to convince someone to play DnD with you.
I won’t tell you why but after watching the film, I was so close to immediately purchasing a Themberchaud Funko Pop. It was an appearance that I didn’t quite expect, considering the trailers and movie posters! Aside from the impulse buy, I even thought of cosplaying Doric or Sofina because of how cool their characters were despite the petite appearance. It had that effect on me!
Hope they release another movie featuring a whole new party and different campaign. I’ll definitely be waiting.
Overall, if you like fantasy action films and if you’ve played DnD before, I highly recommend you to watch it in cinemas nationwide starting March 29, 2023. Better if you do so on IMAX theaters because of the action scenes! If you’re a parent, go bring your kid and let them play DnD at least once in their lives. I loved every minute of it and it’s all thanks to my sister who introduced me to the world of DnD!
*A huge thanks to Paramount Pictures for letting us see the movie weeks before its release.