Funny, action packed and charming, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES is a lot of fun on an epic scale.
Maybe I should note that I’ve never played D&D, don’t know anything about it and “got” zero references to anything to do with the game. But the audience members in D&D costumes that CLEARLY know a lot about D&D seemed to enjoy the screening just as much as we did.
Chris Pine is at his absolute best as the most dashing BS artist in history, Edgin. He’s banded together with Holga, a very bad ass anti-hero perfectly embodied by the reliable Michelle Rodriguez.
Their quest for redemption and a lost figurine that can restore life has surprisingly emotional heft but is wrapped in nearly non-stop laughs.
Rege-Jean Page steals every scene he’s in as Xenk, the most valiant knight this side of Lancelot. With swords skills to spare and zero sense of humor, he’s the perfect foil for Pine’s constant wordplay. (Between his performance here and his role in The Gray Man, I’m a huge fan of Page becoming the next OO7!).
Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is Simon, a cut-rate sorcerer that can’t conjure up any self-confidence and Sophia Lillis (Bev Marsh in the “It” films) slays as Doric, a shape shifting creature that provides some of the best visual magic of their journey.
Hugh Grant has his best role in years as Forge, a street thief and former friend of Edgin & Holga’s who’s become a virtual Wizard of Oz thanks to the powers of Sofina, a dark witch with very disturbing plans for the kingdom around her. Daisy Head is creepy as hell as Sofina.
Chloe Coleman rounds out the cast as Edgin’s daughter Kira, a pivotal part of the story.
We lost count of the laugh-out-loud references to Monty Python along the way, just one facet of a clever script by Directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Game Night). The graveyard scene in which they keep waking up the dead but can only ask them five questions is flawless. (Shades of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”)
Epic action sequences are well executed and unlike so many fantasy films, the ending does not disappoint. The CGI, costume design, set design and stunts are first rate. It’s beautifully shot in the UK and Ireland.
Lorne Balfe (Mission Impossible: Fallout) composes a non-stop fantasy/action score that delivers plenty of thrills.
In just a little over two hours, I saw plenty of enjoyable hidden references to many other films, from “Indiana Jones” and “Jurassic Park” to what I swear was a reference to “Spaceballs”. If there’s ever been a fatter dragon on screen, I’ve forgotten it.
Pine is perfection.
Packed with surprises and laughs, D&D: HONOR AMONG THIEVES steals a B.
Watch for that A-list cameo as Holga’s ex-husband. I didn’t see that coming!