Film review: Dungeons & Dragons – Honor Among Thieves

When a thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on a mission in a far-off land to retrieve a long-lost relic to restore life, what could possibly go wrong?

Directed by John Francis Daily and Jonathan Goldstein (Game Night and Horrible Bosses) comes the latest instalment of the Dungeons & Dragons film franchise. With a budget of $150million and a bevy of ‘A list’ stars, we are thrown into a much larger, more beautiful world where the action and indeed actors are in full flow.

Based on an extremely popular worldwide board game from the 1980’s, and with a well-loved spin off cartoon of the same time, Dungeons & Dragons puts us straight into the action without us needing to know the game or indeed the world around on which it is based. With previous lesser incarnations from years past that fell foul of the review and therefore box office takings, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings us the much bigger spectacle of a new brighter cinematic golden age. An adventure subgenre that had hit terrible lows in the past with bad acting and scripts, now propels us into a far more immersive world.

With Chris Pine as Edgin Darvis, a former member of the peaceful Harpers family out for revenge and Michelle Rodriguez as Holga Kilgore, as the main protagonists, their mission is to find the ‘Tablet of Reawakening’ to restore life to a deceased loved one.

Requiring the assistance along the way of Doric, a Tiefling Druid, played by the witty Sophia Lillis (IT 1 & 2) who can transform into many creatures including a viciously spectacular ‘owlbear’. And with Simon Aumur, an amateur sorcerer played by Justice Smith, they set upon the perilous task whilst coming up against many dark foes along the way including the deceitful town’s lord, Forge Fitzwilliam played by Hugh Grant in full pantomime/Paddington 2 flow, he is perfect scene stealing casting.


As a standalone film, we are given a complete story that is quite rare in today’s cinema of prequels and sequels. With the ‘arrive late’ info dump that has been part of storytelling for many years, we are brought up to speed quite quickly and succinctly. And with the early dramatic introduction of Michelle Rodriguez’s Holga Kilgore character, in a desolate prison for thousands, we know we are in for a well-directed fun ride.

Filmed in both Ireland and Iceland the settings are large enough to carry off a realistic fantasy backdrop. With a running time of 134 minutes, the film feels a little long but the adventure we are led on is worth it and keeps you entertained.

The script bounds along with fun we have come to expect from a film of this calibre. The timing is great, and Michelle’s Rodriguez’s want to add armpit hair of to her character of which she is very open about helps with the overall authenticity of prisoners on the run. The new emergence of high-quality graphics in the recent years required for the genre of film are ever more amazing and visually dazzling. From the artwork of the opening snow scenes through to the final thrilling ride our heroes are subjected to are otherworldly yet quite seamless.

The mortuary scene burial ground of five arbitrary questions is very well written and provides light relief whilst providing the necessary info as to why a required Helmet of Disjunction was lost in the first place. A piece of armour used to fight off the evil Sofina’s magic played by an unrecognisable, Daisy Head.

The overall feel of the film flows very well and doesn’t feel over long and talk of a spin off TV series with hopefully the same actors would be very welcome.





Author: Piers, Maidstone Store