I was cautious of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves when it was announced. I remember being excited for the movie from 2000 and just how bad it was. The memory of just how let down I was from that movie made me cautious of the new movie. I started to let myself get a little interested in it after I started hearing good things about it. When I saw Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was added to Paramount + I knew that I was going to finally be able to see it. The quality of D&D: HAT has finally eased the sting after twenty years.
Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley did a fantastic job directing this movie. They combined comedy with action wrapped in a fantasy bow. They also did a great job of writing D&D HAT with Michael Gilio. They were able to make the deep lore of the Forgotten Realms setting easy to follow. There’s a deep love for not only the setting but the game of Dungeons & Dragons itself. I was able to learn more about the Red Wizards of Thay through this movie because I’m not well versed in the Forgotten Realms and its lore. The story that Gilio wrote with Chris McKay feels like it could be done in any setting, though this setting lets it be as weird as it could be. Also, the fact that it feels like a poorly planned out D&D party makes the movie as fun as it is.
The cast goes a long way to making the characters have the right feel. Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Hugh Grant, Chloe Coleman, and Daisy Head make the movie what it is. I really want to mention Page and how he plays straight man to the ridiculousness of the rest of the characters. As someone that has played more paladins in my time of D&D the fact that he wasn’t some fuddy duddy killjoy made my heart happy. Chris Pine makes for a fantastic bard, which feels very similar to his version of Captain Kirk. He also has outstanding chemistry with the other members of the party. Hugh Grant and Daisy Head make for an interesting pair for antagonists. Their characters seem to hate each other, and you can feel that whenever they interact.
I loved the practical effects used throughout D&D: HAT. There are so many classic D&D races and creatures that were made practically that I was blown away. I guess a standout is the character of Jarnathan, which is also a great name, the Aarakocra. What wasn’t able to be done practically was done masterfully with visual effects. The way that the owlbear was brought to life was awesome. The different dragons were done in such a way that you could tell that they were not the same kind of dragon. The set and costume designers did such an amazing job in the movie. The music from Lorne Balfe is fantastic. It feels like a classic fantasy movie score.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is what you want from a Dungeons & Dragons movie, the right mixture of comedy and drama. I don’t know if there’s going to be more movies with these characters or if there will be more but just in the Forgotten Realms setting. I know that it would be a little much for the movie going audiences if they went with a different setting. I do wish I could have seen it in a theater full of people because it would been an experience. I give Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves 9 lutes out of 10. [kofi]