Review: Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves Movie: A Total Package Entertainer
With Dungeons & Dragons’ Honor Among Thieves, I gotta say, after a rough few years, it’s so nice to see theatrical movies get their groove on again. They’re in the zone. And Hollywood has realized that the way to get you away from their streaming services is with a lot of pizzazz, a lot of bangs for your buck. And I think that no more is that the case than with Dungeons and Dragons, which is just money on the screen. Paramount is doing a great job these days; talk about being on a roll.
This is not gonna be a cultural zeitgeist, like a Top Gun Maverick, you know, a cultural milestone. But it’s really good. It’s as if Jumanji was a hit, and this should be a hit. I think this is even better than Jumanji, although it doesn’t quite have the star power that the franchise did. So we’ll see, if there’s any justice in the world, then this will do well. But I’m not quite sure.
Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves Movie Review
Unfortunately, I think the comedy, the dialogues, the plotting, and even the world-building in Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves are all a bit lacking. It’s not terrible, but it’s just lukewarm at best. This is a movie that I wanted to like, and I was really trying from beginning to end. The elements aren’t bad, but they just never came together to amount to something really fresh and fun.
I would say it’s a mildly amusing film that has some neat visuals, a few good moments here and there, a decent emotional core, and a story that’s not trying to be epic but rather one that becomes big by chance. And it takes inspiration, or rather, it’s molded after MCU team movies like Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers, which is pretty fitting. A team of misfits, brought together by some shared goal, each with their own tragic backstory.
I think Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez are nice together. Not great, but good enough. And Hugh Grant is committing to his role and having fun with this slimy con man. He’s doing what he can with the material. And so are Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, and Sophia Lillis. But especially the latter two, I never got warm with. The team and their banter should’ve been the heart of the movie, and yet it never got there for me.
Dungeons & Dragons’ Honor Among Thieves doesn’t have the wit or the energy of Guardians of the Galaxy. It only has a very obvious reference when it comes to that huge prison at the beginning and its design. And there’s also a very noticeable reference or copy of a famous moment from the end of the first Avengers.
But I have to say that there’s also one of the funniest cameos I have seen in recent years. That whole scene is not just damn funny but also kind of heartfelt. Kind of a standout.
But the issue with most of the comedy is simply that the jokes are all too familiar and easy and stale. For something to really land, it should be somewhat unexpected, but here most jokes play out exactly like you expect. So even some genuine cool scenes, like a long bit on a cemetery, feel somewhat stale. Or, as the screenplay just needed a bit more work.
Again, I liked the overall concept of making this like a fantasy heist movie. Something like Ocean’s Eleven meets Guardians of the Galaxy meets Lord of the Rings. In which our hero is constantly coming up with plans that then fail only to be adapted into plan b and then c, and so on. And what they are coming up with for the finale is actually quite cool.
Do you know what occurred to me while I was watching Dungeons & Dragons’ Honor Among Thieves? They really did need to get rid of Victoria Alonso over there at Marvel. She oversaw VFX for the company and a couple of other things, but that was her raison d’etre for being there. And boy, is she getting embarrassed more and more as March continues. Also of course, Victoria had not been treating the VFX community very well in her role as the supervisor at Marvel. But Shazam, too, made for 50% of the budget of Quantummania, looked way better than that Marvel movie.
And now here comes Dungeons and Dragons, made for 150 Million, but it looks as good as Lord of the Rings. Well, maybe not that good, but certainly, it looks as good as Game of Thrones. I even think it looks a scooch better than Game of Thrones. Because it’s just it has more detailed work than Game of Thrones. It’s more of a fantasy.
Game of Thrones is like a muted fantasy, and Dungeons and Dragons have all the beautiful flowers and all the medieval fairy tale stuff going on. It’s almost like Game of Thrones beats Into The Woods a little bit, which of course, also starred Chris Pine. As I said, it’s just money up on the screen. You’re just like, “how much did you spend on this?” Its 150 million budget can be seen all on screen. Except for the 12 million they apparently paid Chris Pine. But the rest of it is all on screen.
I would say that this Dungeons and Dragons movie is like if Game of Thrones were a family comedy, yet still edgy enough to entertain all audiences. Shazam 2’s problem was that it was too much of a family movie. This is something that could appeal to families the way a lot of blockbusters do. But I wouldn’t categorize it as a family movie, I guess. And that’s the difference.
Is Dungeons & Dragons’ Honor Among Thieves Funny?
It is from the team behind the Game Night movie, which, as you might recall (If you did not see Game Night, go watch it), was a fantastic movie. Also, there were the other screenwriters from Lego Batman, Chris McKay, who helped come up with the story. And this is a little like the Lego movies too, and it’s very funny, but you know, in a meta way that I think that adults would enjoy.
Now on that note, though, Dungeons and Dragons aren’t as funny as I’d expected them to be. And I think that’s largely because most of the jokes have been used in the ad campaign. Stop watching trailers and TV spots right now. Just go see the movie. But they did make me genuinely lol a few times. Part of it was cause I wanted to, lol. I was like, “I wanna laugh.” But they got me genuinely a few times.
There’s one surprise cameo that I don’t believe has been ruined yet for most people. So I hope it stays that way for you. Be very careful on social media, and especially watch out for Insta stories. Because some people, or some trolls, will hear that and be like, “oh, here I come.” It was a nice surprise. I had not known about it, and I was like, oh, that’s funny.
Even though the movie wasn’t super funny, I was, again, gobsmacked. Gobsmacked. That’s the word about how much money was spent on this. It looks so good. And it’s also, as a result, so thrilling. I mean, they didn’t just throw money at this. They knew how to use the money.
There are several action sequences here that are just jaw-droppingly good. I will feel bad for you if you miss them. There’s one long take for Sophia Lillis’ shapeshifter character escaping from a castle where she shapeshifts all the way through just continuously, and it really has to be seen to be believed. When it was done, I actually said to myself, wow, it was like being on a ride. It was incredible.
So you’ve got amazing VFX and excellent fight choreography. Michelle Rodriguez is particularly good in that department, so good. And really inventive camera work.
Writer And Director
Writer and director Goldstein and Daley have such a command of this film. I think they should be able to write their own ticket after this film, even if it doesn’t do particularly well at the box office that. I will be like, “that’s OK. It’s other reasons, not them.” I want them for my franchise. All franchises should be immediately going after them. They should have been signed already.
Also, Paramount has been releasing clips of this movie for everybody (which I’m also concerned is gonna hurt the box office) for every festival, and all the media has seen it. There have been sneak peeks every Sunday. There was one this Sunday. And you know that’s hurt a couple of movies in the past, but this movie’s out there. So I am a bit worried for Goldstein and Daley.
So if I ran a franchise, I would try to sign these guys before opening weekend. Maybe they feel the opening weekend is not gonna be good, and it’s gonna drive their price down. They might be right about that. But I think they’re so good that I do a show of faith. I’d be like, “I’m here before anybody else come to my franchise, baby.” Because they’re just so good, I’m like, these guys are amazing.
Considering all the powers on display and the teamwork that’s used, and the multiple characters they have handled. I think many of you know where I’m going with this MCU X-Men. Oh, they should be signed already for this. And well, some of you might think that’s a ridiculous idea, then you clearly haven’t seen this movie. If you’ve seen this movie, you’re like, “yes, let’s do it. That’s the that’s fit”.
The balance of keeping things family-friendly and also still engaging in edge units for adults is a very valuable skill, particularly for the Disney-owned MCU. Oh, I really hope they get X-Men. They should, and they deserve it. I mean, so many times as I was watching this, and I was like, “oh, X-Men?”
But maybe Paramount could hold on to them. Maybe that’s who should have maybe signed them before the movie opened. Paramount should have been like, “who gave you $150 million? I believe it was us.” Maybe they will do more Dungeons and Dragons. I mean, let’s see what the box office looks like here.
Not A DnD Fan
I’m not too hopeful. Because Dungeons and Dragons aren’t quite as popular as Stranger Things would have you believe. And the star power here, unfortunately, is a little on the weak side. I don’t know if I would have paid Chris Pine $12 million to be in this, quite frankly. I even like Chris Pine. He’s a little bit as I think, in some ways, Ryan Gosling. I don’t know, and I would have paid him. Let’s see what happens.
But everyone does a great job, and it’s a great Movie. Hopefully, reviews like this and word of mouth could take it up. Hopefully, this will help this movie find the audience it deserves in theaters, or it’s never too late on digital.
I’m not even into Dungeons and Dragons, and when my theater audience occasionally bursts into applause, I had to assume it was for elements of the game that were brought to life on screen. I couldn’t tell what they were, but those people were like, “oh, there it is.” And I was like, “that’s nice.”
I love fantasy and swashbuckling adventure and movies that look really great. And this is definitely that. Not only do the action scenes look fantastic, but the creativity is also off the charts. They did not have to go this hard on everything. Oh my gosh, just so creative and so well executed.
There are also amazing sets, and impressive world-building, like cities and the distance that we don’t go to, but I totally believe in that we could. I bought everything that they were showing me. And I was impressed with how detailed the story is and how much ground it covers, and how many places we go to in over 2 hours.
Chris Pine is the anchor here, and as I said, according to rumors, he got paid about $12 million for this, making it seem like he’s almost back at his Captain Kirk days at the beginning of his career. He’s great, but I don’t know if he’s a leading man. He looks like a leading man. He has a sharp wit, and he has good looks leading man, but he has the heart of a comedian cause he never takes himself too seriously.
Oh, by the way, he gets to sing a little bit here, and he’s so good. But he just doesn’t get to have as much as much fun as I think he should, where he really excels and is these costars get to have.
Sofia Willis continues to be a wonderful on-screen presence, and her character gets to do a lot of really cool things. Hugh Grant was pretty good. But like Chris Pine, I felt he wasn’t truly let loose. I feel they both could have done better. But you know, like Chris Pine, he certainly does a very nice job. And like Chris Pine, I think it’s always a treat to see him.
Michelle Rodriguez though is fantastic. She really gets to cut loose here more so than she has in a lot of her recent films. And she’s so badass. She’s like Letty and Dom rolled into one. And some of the times that I laughed out loud was how vicious her character was in her fight sequences. And how clever the fight choreography was. I was like, “Yeah, that’ll do it.” It was great. Michelle gets to do a little comedy, and she does a nice job. She does a very good job.
I’ve always enjoyed Justice Smith. He’s like his Jurassic World character here, but with more screen time and more to do, and some of the stuff he gets to do is really cool. I do love some magic. If we’re not talking Putting powers of telekinesis, we’re talking Dungeons and Dragons; then I’m all in on being a wizard. That looks so cool to me. Who would you wanna be in the group? I definitely wanna be a wizard. So he’s very cool. And I found his character arc particularly engaging. He has a great character arc.
Speaking of magic Daisy Head is incredible as our villain. She is so powerful that she is just a joy to watch. And again, as I said, it’s well executed. She’s not only really powerful, but I just love to watch her work. Jason Wong is her henchman, and he looks super cool. As soon as he showed up, I was like, “who’s that guy? He’s awesome.” I was also like, “you don’t wanna get in his way.”
I was also pleasantly surprised by Rege-Jean Paige, who gets his logoless on. I never watched Bridgerton, so I didn’t understand the Rege-Jean Paige Mania, but now I kind of get it. He has this forehead tattoo that I think was a mistake. It’s a little distracting, and I was like, “oh, come on, why to make him overcome that.” But he did. He did overcome it. And I was like, “oh wow, he’s really cool guy.”
Paige gets to do some comedy as well. And while his role is smaller, he definitely makes a strong impression. I was like, “oh wow, he’s great.” If I were a casting director or studio, I would definitely put him on my list after seeing this movie.
Broad Appeal & Critical Role
Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves, as you can see, is cast for four quadrants of global appeal, and we will see if that delivers the box office it’s supposed to. But it was pretty noteworthy to see Rege-Jean page fighting Jason Wong as a big main fight, just the two of them in a big Hollywood fantasy movie. And it was fantastic, it was really cool, and that was really great.
There are supposed to be critical role actors in this film, a very popular Dungeons and Dragons online show that’s been going on for years. I’m sure you see it sometimes. It trends when they air. And they have their own Dungeons and Dragons animated series on Prime Video, by the way, which is run two seasons, so it got renewed. That’s impressive.
But I couldn’t spot any of them in this movie. I could recognize Matthew Mercer, and Ashley did a voice in the Blood of Zeus over on Netflix. And then also Ashley Johnson from the Last of Us, I just saw her, of course, I’m gonna notice her. So if they are in this movie, their roles are so small, and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. They might have been one of the other teams running around the arena. Such an amazing sequence, by the way
Overall Review On Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves
So that’s my of Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves Review. It was officially released in theaters on March 31st. It’s a great movie. It deserves an audience. But not every great movie finds an audience. So we’ll see. But there’s definitely a lot of talent here. In front of the camera, but also behind the camera. Not only with Goldstein and Daley but the VFX team and everybody on this. I would just go through this whole IMDb list if I were another production and hiring people off of it. I’d be like, “these people are all amazing.”
Our Rating: ⭐3.5/5