(Photo courtesy of Dicebreaker) “‘Honor Among Thieves’ is the D&D movie fans of the game have been waiting for for years.
Adaptations of the famed tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons have been hit or miss, until now. “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” brings to the table everything previous adaptations were missing: humor, character development and aesthetically pleasing dragons. A star-studded cast and practical effects bring the fantasy roleplaying game to life on the silver screen.
Chris Pine takes one of the lead roles as Edgin Darvis, a down-on-his-luck bard trying to save his daughter Kira played by Chloe Coleman. He’s joined by Michelle Rodriguez as the barbarian Holga, Justice Smith as the sorcerer Simon, Sophia Lilis as Doric the druid and Regé-Jean Page as the paladin Xenk. The party teams up to take down Forge Fitzwilliam played by Hugh Grant and Sofina the red wizard played by Daisy Head. The movie is definitely targeted at Dungeons and Dragons players, but there are elements throughout it that make it perfect for everyone.
The movie perfectly captures everything that makes the roleplaying game enjoyable, especially the comedy. The jokes in this film were perfectly written and even more perfectly executed by the cast. Writers John Francis Daily and Jonathan Goldstein got to show off their comedic chops truly. The comedy runs deep through the entire film, with almost every scene eliciting a laugh.
The movie is entirely comedy, it balances action and fantasy perfectly. It uses practical effects wherever it can to perfectly build a realistic Faerûn. While there is some CGI, it doesn’t take anything away from the viewing experience. They also employed the nighttime lighting seen in “The Lord Of The Rings,” where everything is basked in a soft blue light making the entire set visible. With a pivotal scene in the dead of night, this lighting choice added to the film’s stunning visuals.
The action takes a stand next to comedy in the film. With several impeccably choreographed fight scenes with both physical and magical elements, the movie feels like combat in the tabletop game. Most of the physical fighting is left to Holga who shows off incredible strength and patience with her party who can’t fight very well. The final fight scene perfectly captures the action, fantasy and comedy of the film in the most satisfying ending.
For fans wanting more from “Honor Among Thieves,” there is plenty of reading to be done. Hasbro has released two canon prequel novels and a comic that gives a backstory to the characters. The books can be read in any order, and they don’t need to be read to understand the movie, which stands as a complete story on its own. One of the novels fills in Edgin’s backstory and goes into detail about his relationship with Holga and Forge. Titled “The Road To Neverwinter” by Jaleigh Johnson who has written several books for Dungeons and Dragons and other popular franchises such as “Assassins Creed,” this novel helps to establish how Edgin knows Holga, Simon and Forge.
The second novel, “The Druid’s Call” by E.K. Johnston, fills in Doric’s backstory. It tells the story of Doric, whose character’s story is not well explored through the book, as she trains to become a druid and discovers her incredible wild shape abilities. The book dips briefly into her relationship with Simon, but he only makes two appearances in just under 300 pages. Johnston is known for her work with “Star Wars” novels, making her a perfect choice of author for this novel.
The last installment of prequels is “The Feast of the Moon” comic by Jeremy Lambert, whuch features a shorter comic titled “Xenk and the Helmet of Disjunction” by Ellen Boener. “The Feast of the Moon” is the less important of the two comics as it follows the party on another heist and does minimal work developing characters. “Xenk and the Helmet of Disjunction” is far more important for establishing characters. It delves slightly deep into the underexplored Xenk and his connection to the pivotal prop of the film. These readings only add to the experience of the film by making the characters much more rounded and adding fun details for the fans.
“Honor Among Thieves” is an amazing adaptation of the famous tabletop game. With amazingly done comedic timing, practical effects, dragons and Pine’s singing, there is something for all audience members. The movie welcomes audiences with all levels of Dungeons and Dragons knowledge and leaves them wanting to know more.
Overall Grade: A+