Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

Starring: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Justice Smith

Year: 2023

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was directed by the same pair that brought us Game Night, and that’s makes so much sense; both are hilarious in the exact same way, layering cutting comedy with awesome ineptitude.  D&D is a spoof, a homage, an original work, and an amazing adventure film all rolled into one and spun out with no apologies.  It’s surprising how good it really is, how simple it makes cinema seem, when we know that it’s anything but.  To craft this story and to do it this well took real talent, which I didn’t expect to see at this level here.

A band of thieves is broken up when some of its members are caught during a daring heist, bard Edgin & barbarian Holga heading to an icy prison, leaving Ed’s daughter behind.  He’s not a bad guy, not even a thief actually; he was once sworn to protect the innocent, until his love was killed during a revenge tour.  Now, the pair must make it back to their friends and retrieve the child, but things have changed since they’ve been away.  The Red Wizards are attempting something sinister, and only a troupe of misfits too stubborn to admit defeat can save the realm.

I have played just a little D&D, and the movie is a nice nod to many aspects of game; the maps, the classes, the creatures, the spells, Neverwinter, the Lord’s Alliance, a bunch.  But it’s also very accessible to just about anyone, because we’re all used to fantasy adventures, the inherent comedy and the wild plots.  Honor Among Thieves is a genre nugget but also some fresh air to the style, lending Daley & Goldstein’s brand of comedy to an excellent action flick, leaving audiences with a bit of everything to love.  Pine is spectacular, Grant is great, all the characters mesh together well, helping us love the land that is painted out and all its mysteries.  This is how adventure comedies should be made, this is the template, and I hope other directors take notice.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils