Dungeons & Dragons: Thief’s Honor

But even those who’ve never played the game and haven’t seen the previous (rather bad) adaptation shouldn’t feel left out watching the new Dungeons & Dragons: Thieves’ Honor film. Maybe they even have the advantage of being impartial and less optimistic.

Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have been crafting a delightful action-adventure fantasy blockbuster with characters who fall madly in love from the moment they first appear. Plus, it’s with fun humor that suggests this film is primarily about having fun, but not stupid and not sloppy.

Of the characters, it is the traveling musician or poet Edgin (the very nice man Chris Pine) draws the most attention, who makes a decent living as a thief of the artifacts he steals and sells to others.

But since no tree grows to heaven and everyone else falls, Edgin once put loot in the wrong hands where it shouldn’t. This triggers a series of events, during which there is no shortage not only of the main villain’s evil plans in the charming appearance of Hugh Grant, but also of all the creatures and monsters that create a fantasy world.

To get out of the mess he created and repair his tarnished reputation, Edgin needs the right party. And the creators put it together perfectly for him. From the tough warrior and best friend Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) to the wizard (Justice Smith), who hasn’t really honed his magic since his last encounter with Edgin, to the druid (Sophia Lillis), who has her own reasons for participating in Edgin’s Plan. And finally, there’s a likable and irresistible young man played by Regé-Jean Page, who anyone else would have liked if he hadn’t been preaching all the time.

Photo: Cinemart

Hugh Grant as the elegant pauper.

The story moves at a pace that makes you feel like Daley and Goldstein can never run out of ideas and can’t get enough of them alone. But if they had had enough of the previous fifteen minutes, the better for the movie. The sets are generous, the tricks mix good acting with digital technology, the camera plays with details and the whole in a clear and enjoyable way.

But what makes Dungeons & Dragons: Thieves’ Honor a notch above your average high fantasy is its humor. The main cast is made up of looser characters than heroes, each with well-crafted problems or traumas. Even monsters are cute by their names (mvedovýr) and their descriptions, and if someone wants to be afraid of them they can, but they don’t have to.

The dialogue is fast, funny, the points are well prepared. As a brain eater, who should only attack the smart, getting through the party and going unnoticed, Edgin remarks with his characteristic sarcasm, “Now I’m offended.”

The film also has serious moments. The emphasis on the importance of family comes as no surprise, but whenever some sequence threatens sentiment, relief comes in due time, without the film becoming a parody, even for a moment. And balancing a world of fantasy, action, adventure and humor with well-developed characters is an art that deserves to continue. At the end of the film, it must have been done for him.

Dungeons & Dragons: Thief’s Honor
USA 2023, 134 min. Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Sophia Lillis, Justice Smith and more
Rating 80%

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Camilla Salazar

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