A great cast lead the charge in co-writers and directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, a rip-roaring and hilarious fantasy adventure based on the much loved role-playing game of the same name.
The pair blend quick-witted comedy with heist movie tropes, while at the same time summoning the spirit of classic Eighties films. Though the film strikes a more irreverent tone to Stranger Things, with the focus more on humour, it references many of the same touchstones, including Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter.
Chris Pine stars as Edgin, a devoted single father to Kira (Chloe Coleman) and a disillusioned thief looking to make one last major heist before he calls it quits. When we first meet him he’s imprisoned with his close friend and barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) as they await to be pardoned for a crime. On release, they head back to Kira who has been left under the guardianship of Forge (a delightfully villainous Hugh Grant) and are forced back into crime in order to save the day. They team up with wizard Simon (Justice Smith) and tiefling druid Doric (Sophia Lillis) to find an ancient relic, with Regé-Jean Page’s comically verbose and deeply sincere Xenk helping them on their shambolic quest.
Even if the film runs a little long, the action never lets up. The combination of practical effects and CGI by ILM alongside frenetic camerawork also lends the film a visual edge that recalls Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 and the work of Ray Harryhausen.
Pine and Rodriguez share great chemistry as life-long chums and there’s so much fun to be had in watching the ragtag team blunder and fail their way through ill-thought-out schemes. The screenplay doesn’t skimp on character building, blends genres in surprising and subversive ways, and also gives its incredible ensemble cast plenty of room to show off their comedy and action chops. It’s a whole lotta fun!
Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves will be released in UK cinemas on 31 March 2023. Read more reviews at SciFiNow.