FILM REVIEW - Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
By The Masked Medic
Okay, you guys are getting more film and TV show reviews compared to the comic book reviews. That may be a good thing for some of my readers, but there you go. So rather than watching something that came out years ago, I decided to sit down to watch something that has come out in the last three months and I settled on ‘Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’
The film tells the tale of Edgin Darvis, a bard in the fictional land of Faerûn. Edgin who at the start of the film is imprisoned quickly catches the viewers up with his backstory. He was once a member of the Harpers, a peacekeeping group but when his wife is murdered he loses his shared belief with them and becomes a thief. He forms a crew but when one of their jobs goes bad, Edgin tells one of the party, Forge, a rogue, to look after his daughter. Now out of prison, he goes to find his daughter, Kira, along with a female barbarian named Holga. However, what they find out is that Forge is now the ruler of a city called Neverwinter, and rather than telling Kira that her father went on this heist to find a relic to bring her mother back to life, he tells her that he was only in it to get riches. Naturally, Edgin and Helga are outraged but when they try to attack Forge they find they are stopped by Sofina, a powerful mage responsible for their capture in the first place. Edgin decides that he needs a team to get back into Neverwinter and rescue his daughter. He and Holga enlist the help of Simon, a small-time sorcerer with self-esteem issues and Doric, a druid who has shape-shifting abilities. They come up with a plan however they require a mystical helm to get past all the magical defences in Neverwinter. The only being that knows the helm's location is Xenk Yandar, a noble paladin. Getting the helm may be tricky and breaking into the castle even trickier. Can this group of misfits complete their quest and make it to Neverwinter? And who’s actually pulling the strings there? Forge or someone more sinister?
Playing the leads of Edwin and Holga were Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez. I like Chris Pine and his natural charm clearly integrated itself into his character. Edwin is funny and likeable and a clear choice of leader. Rodriguez who is known best for the ‘Fast and Furious’ series plays a more layered character despite being a brutish barbarian, aha! The other members of the team, Simon and Doric were played by Justice Smith and Sophia Lillis. Both actors were known to me from other projects like ‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ and ‘It’. ‘Bridgerton’ heartthrob Regé-Jean Page played the indomitable Xenk Yandar and although his role was limited, his character was great! The film clearly didn’t skimp on its casting budget having a cameo from Bradley Cooper as Holga’s ex-husband. The standout performance for me, however, was Forge Fitzwilliam, who was played by Hugh Grant. I think Grant spent a lot of his earlier years being typecast as this soppy British romantic type and for the last few years, I’ve seen him take on roles that are well outside of that remit. Although nowhere as near as good as his performance in ‘The Gentleman’ he does a fantastic job!
Now, although I am indeed a nerd by certain standards, I will admit that the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game is something that I never got myself into. I’m sure it would be fun, but you know, I can only carry so many eggs in my basket! Haha! The film was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It had me chuckling throughout with its witty script and funny character interactions. It’s fairly clear that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and I think that actually works in its favour. I know that we’re having this problem in Hollywood where ideas seem to be repeated so most film studios will go one way or the other, i.e. massive blockbusters or really small indie films. This film clearly sits in the middle, the actors know it and it seems that they’re just having fun with it. One of the directors even clearly said that this film wasn’t designed to create a whole cinematic universe and that I think is the perfect way to make a film now!
You would think that the film would have a lot of CGI and you’d be right. However, compared to a lot of fantasy films I thought that actually it was a little less impressive. Like I said before, the film doesn’t take itself very seriously and isn’t looking to create a massive lasting impact so those things can probably be overlooked. The music, surprisingly was extremely prominent throughout and I was actually considering checking out the soundtrack. Overall, this was pretty decent if you’re looking to watch something that requires little investment. I do wonder if there is a possibility for a sequel!