movie reviews
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Does D&D have a future as a film franchise or does it stumble like countless other blockbuster franchises that came before it?

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Although there is of course enormous commercial potential in a license like Dungeons & Dragons, which for decades has offered one epic saga after another, naturally partly created by the players themselves, the market is also particularly toxic for all these franchise's hopes. Everything must build towards something more, everything must have a huge film universe behind it, and therefore there are also massive expectations internally for the films that have that potential.

Whether it's Ender's Game or the Dark film universe's The Mummy, the franchise strategy is a bit of a Bermuda triangle filled to the brim with broken dreams. In the middle of this uncertain era comes Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which excels precisely by limiting the need for broad storytelling, and instead makes do with humour and a little heart here and there.


Honor Among Thieves is reliably simple. Sure, there's a myriad of place names, people and events mentioned interchangeably, but the story of Chris Pine's Edgin and Michelle Rodriguez's Holga bringing together an ensemble of memorable characters to steal an artifact, enlisting the help of Hugh Grant's excellent character Forge, and perhaps most importantly finding Edgin's missing daughter, is all a lot of fun. As such, it is not an advanced narrative with countless threads to keep track of. In relation to the way fantasy universes are most often constructed, namely where breadth is a central driving force, Honor Among Thieves wants to be narrow.

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The aforementioned ensemble also consists of René Jean-Page as Xenk Yendar and Sophia Lillis' fantastic Doric. Justice Smith also stars as the character Simon Aumar, and they all deliver solid performances, with most of the emphasis placed on comedic observations and exchanges. Honor Among Thieves is a genuinely fun movie. There is timing, finesse and rock-solid set-ups that really pay off, even if the film turns out to be a bit too long to be able to maintain especially the comedic momentum. But it all oozes humour, and many will probably find the fact that the film does not take itself too seriously a good approach to an otherwise rather deep universe.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

It is also due to the good work of John Francis Daily, Jonathan Goldstein and Michael Gilio, who have been working on this script for years. It can be felt that there is an exuberant creative energy here, which is generally lacking a little from larger fantasy films. At least it's not cynical, you can't call it that. You can call it a little too long, and you have to, because it all starts to drag on a bit at the end, and this is becoming a super boring trend that blockbuster films simply can't be under 130 minutes in duration.

But Honor Among Thieves offers plenty of great effects, tons of fan service for die-hard D&D fans, but most importantly excellent acting and an effective script. It's not necessary for D&D to become a big movie franchise, but if they end up going that way, then here's an excellent template for the future.

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08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
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