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Grab your dice and get ready, because “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” takes you on a wild ride through a magical world full of charismatic characters and epic heists. Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the film does an excellent job turning the massively popular and beloved game into a film. And while “Dungeons & Dragons” may have some faulty special effects, the film’s charismatic cast, entertaining plot, and impressive fight scenes make it a fun ride for both fans of the game and newcomers alike.
The plot of “Dungeons & Dragons” centers around Edgin (Chris Pine) and his decision to join an honorable secret society despite the damage it does to his family. Edgin tries to repair his family through thievery but ends up in jail, separated from his daughter for two years. This drama sets the stage for him and his partner-in-crime Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) to pull off another heist to save his daughter and recover an artifact stolen by his ex-comrade Forge (Hugh Grant). The two are accompanied by Simon (Justice Smith) and Doric (Sophia Lillis) as they traverse the vast world of the Forgotten Realms in hopes of retrieving a helmet that will protect them from the magic of an evil wizard, allowing them to recover the stolen artifact and save Edgin’s daughter.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the movie was the acting of the impressive cast, consisting of Pine, Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, and Justice Smith, all of whom were naturally and wildly charismatic and hilarious. Page’s character, Xenk, was a particularly enjoyable watch, as he played a paladin — an ultra-religious warrior — with high-strung morals and an inability to understand sarcasm, which made for excellent comedic relief. Smith also made his character very lovable as the audience got to watch the unsure and awkward sorcerer gain immense confidence over the course of the film.
In addition to the strong performances, the screenplay was entertaining enough to keep viewers fully engrossed in the film. The abundance of fast speed plot twists and fight scenes kept the viewers guessing. In particular, the fight scene where Xenk single-handedly takes on a gang in the Underdark was very entertaining. The beautifully choreographed scene was enthralling. However, Edgin’s backstory fell a little flat. While his backstory initiated the events of the film, he didn’t exactly feel very necessary to the plot beyond that point. If he was removed, Holga could have served a similar purpose, and viewers wouldn’t miss him from the story. However, Pine’s acting makes up for this shortcoming of the script. Pine mostly managed to turn the character around and make him likable and charming in spite of his character’s lackluster lines.
Being a fantasy film filled with unique creatures and magic, the movie relies heavily on special effects, which were both a hit and a miss throughout the film. The visuals were particularly impressive when the characters venture into the Underdark to retrieve the Helmet of Disjunction. The Underdark is a whole other environment from the world above ground, filled with darkness and unique creatures. However, there were some parts where the visuals fell short. There were a variety of spells cast throughout the movie that relied on visual effects, and the magic was very obviously computer-generated and almost seemed cartoonish in some scenes.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will definitely be an entertaining watch for all audiences. While the film is not without its flaws in writing and visuals, the pure charisma exuding from the cast, combined with the humorous plot and entertaining fight scenes, ensure that the movie is a definite success in taking the beloved franchise onto the screen.
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