Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Based on the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves tells the story of a band of thieves, led by bard Edgin (Chris Pine) and his companion, the barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez). Breaking out of jail two years after a job gone wrong, the duo find that much has changed in their absence, and they must assemble a new team for a big heist in the city of Neverwinter – this includes rookie sorcerer Simon (Justice Smith) and the tiefling druid Doric (Sophia Lillis).
A lot of marketing materials for this film gave the impression that it would be a very MCU-esque, quip-heavy experience, with trailers skewing towards showing off jokes and spectacle more than characters and plot. Thankfully, this impression was somewhat misleading, and while Honor Among Thieves isn’t averse to the odd quip here and there, it’s not trying too hard to be funny at the expense of its core narrative (or indeed at the expense of its comedy). Someone does say “I’m glad he’s on our side”, but that’s the worst of it.
The story is extremely simple – a savvy moviegoer could probably predict the entire plot from the opening scene alone and get most of the details right – but the process of getting to these predictable plot beats is entertaining and charming enough, bolstered by a strong cast and great visuals, that being somewhat formulaic is entirely forgivable.
One thing Honor Among Thieves does very well is replicate the feeling of a collaborative storytelling experience through the medium of film, which is no mean feat considering how much goes into the average D&D game. There’s a careful balance of banter, spectacle and character development moments that feels very accurate to the tabletop role-playing game experience, and the piece avoids the easy pitfalls of poking too much fun or sarcastically eye-rolling at the inherent absurdities of a typical fantasy world, embracing these eccentricities and engaging with the source material on a sincere level that helps sell it to newcomers.
Overall, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a great time, not particularly groundbreaking or complex, but telling a straightforward story effectively and earnestly. Much like a good game of D&D, the destination isn’t as important as the journey to get there, and that adventure is a lot of fun in spite of – and perhaps because of – its simplicity.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is released nationwide on 31st March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves here: