action, Bradley Cooper, Chloe Coleman, Chris Pine, Daisy Head, Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, fantasy, film festivals, Georgia Landers, Hugh Grant, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Justice Smith, Michelle Rodriguez, movies, Rege-Jean Page, reviews, Sophia Lillis
March 23, 2023
by Carla Hay
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
Culture Representation: Taking place in an alternate universe called the Forgotten Realms, where magic exists, the fantasy/action film “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some Asians, Latinos and African Americans) portraying humans, mutants and various creatures.
Culture Clash: After being betrayed by a former colleague who has taken over leadership of a city-state, three thieves team up with a druid and a paladin to defeat him and gain possession of a resurrection tablet.
Culture Audience: “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the Dungeons & Dragons games, the movie’s headliners, and thrilling fantasy films that serve generous helpings of comedy.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is a rollicking adventure packed with thrilling action scenes and appealing touches of comedy. You don’t have to know anything about Dungeons & Dragons games to enjoy this movie. It’s the type of film that will inspire repeat viewing and a loyal fan base in what will inevitably be a major movie franchise.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (who co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Michael Gilio), “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” takes the complexity of the Dungeons & Dragons games and simplifies it with an easy-to-follow story with memorable characters. One of the movie’s distributors is eOne, which is owned by Hasbro, the company that makes the Dungeons & Dragons games.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (which takes place an alternate universe called the Forgotten Realms) begins with a man named Edgin Darvis (played by Chris Pine) telling his story as a flashback. He used to be a member of the Harpers, a loosely knit group of spellcasters and spies who believe in equality and secretly oppose the abuse of power. The Red Wizards are among the most evil and powerful beings in the Forgotten Realms
Edgin’s wife Zia (played by Georgia Landers) was murdered by a Red Wizard durng one of his missions. After her death, Edgin raised their daughter Kira (played by Chloe Coleman), with the help of a bachelorette barbarian named Holga Kilgore (played by Michelle Rodriguez), whom he befriended. Edgin and Holga developed a brother-sister type of relationship, and Kira began to consider Holga to be like an aunt.
After his wife’s death, Edgin began a new life as a thief, working with a team that included Holga, a fumbling sorcerer named Simon Aumar (played by Justice Smith) and a con man named Forge Fitzwilliam (played by Hugh Grant). Edgin’s main goal in life is to find a resurrection tablet, which can grant the power to bring one person back from the dead before the tablet is rendered useless. Edgin wants to find the tablet to resurrect Zia.
One day, as shown in the movie, the four thieves break into former lair of the Harpers, but a Red Wizard named Sofina (played by Daisy Head) shows up and casts a spell that puts a time stop that makes Edgin and Holga unable to move. Simon and Forge escape. Before these two cohorts leave, Edgin asks Forge to look after Edgin’s daughter Kira. It’s a decision that Edgin will regret.
Edgin and Holga end up in prison for two years. They appear before a parole board to see if they will be pardoned. Before the board can make its decision, Edgin and Holga escape and go to try and find Kira. They discover that Forge has reinvented himself as the Lord of Neverwinter, and he has raised Kira to believe the lie that Edgin is a greedy thief who abandoned her because Edgin cares more about looking for treasures than being a father to Kira.
Edgin now must convince Kira that he is still a loving father who can raise her again, and he still wants to find the resurrection tablet. Holga and Edgin reunite with Simon, who recruits a tiefling druid named Doric (played by Sophia Lillis) to join them. Doric has shapeshifting powers and can transform herself to look like a variety of animals. Simon has an unrequited crush on Doric, who rejected his previous attempts to court her. Doric, who rarely smiles, doesn’t trust humans because humans have betrayed her in her past.
During the gang of four’s adventures, they meet a paladin named Xenk Yandar (played by Regé-Jean Page), who became an orphan as a boy when his family was slaughtered by Red Wizards invaded Xenk’s country. Xenk is highly intelligent, but wisecracking Edgin thinks that Xenk’s super-serious personality is annoying. This clash becomes a source of comedy in the movie.
“Dungeons and Dragons” Honor Among Thieves” has impressive visual effects and exciting action scenes that immerse viewers into this fantastical universe. There are many amusing parts of the story, such as corpses being interviewed at a graveyard. Grant as the roguish Forge gets many of the best comedic lines in the movie. Bradley Cooper also makes a cameo as Marlamin, a diminutive ex-boyfriend of Holga, who shows a vulnerable side to her tough and brave personality when she meets up with Marlamin. The principal cast members have great chemistry together, which hopefully won’t be lost when the inevitable “Dungeons & Dragons” movie sequels will be made.
Paramount Pictures and eOne will release “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” in U.S. cinemas on March 31, 2023.