REVIEW: Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves (2023)

Edgin (Chris Pine), a charming thief, and his band of unlikely allies undertake an epic heist to steal a great treasure including a powerful ancient relic, from Forge (Hugh Grant), a double-crossing political leader, and Sofina (Daisy Head), a dangerous wizard.

I’m not someone who grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons, in fact I’ve only played a campaign once an that was during lockdown over Zoom and I had very little clue as to what I was doing. So, when it comes to any references or homages to the game this film might have, I don’t have the knowledge to notice these things so I very much went into Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves as just someone who likes fantasy stories. Plus there’s the fact it was a story about thieves and features heists – two things a love in media.

I enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves a ridiculous amount. The setting is very much a generic fantasy land with taverns, grand castles, and a variety of creatures including dragons. However, it works because the sense familiarity in the setting and genre tropes means the odd differences standout more and having a shorthand on how this fantasy world works means there can be more focus on the characters and the plot.

The film does really fun things with the narrative, using flashbacks and characters narrating their life story in order to fill in their backstory and flesh out their character. It also does that fun thing in heist films where it shows how the plan will be executed before it naturally goes wrong and the characters have to put together a whole new plan on the fly. The adventures and side quests the characters have to go on in order to achieve their goal are varied and entertaining with some being really visually cool too.

Honestly, it’s the characters and the cast who played them that really made Honour Among Thieves for me. The chemistry is off the charts and you believe that some of these people have known each other for years and while they may have their differences they still enjoy being around one another. Chris Pine’s Edgin and Michelle Rodriguez’s Holga (a barbarian) are platonic life partners and their dynamic is something I never knew I needed but I loved it. They are ride or die besties and bounce off one another really well and some of the most emotionally affecting scenes are focused around them and Edgin’s daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman).

Rounding out this band of misfits is rookie sorcerer Simon (Justice Smith), shapeshifter Doric (Sophia Lillis), and a literal knight in shining armour Xenk (Regé-Jean Page). Xenk isn’t a part of the gang for long but he definitely makes an impact as his stoicism clashes with everyone else’s humour to great comedic effect. The bond these characters forge is the heart of the film. They are the epitome of the found family trope and it’s wonderful to see them fight, make up, encourage one another, and bicker, while still repeatedly saving each other.

What makes the humour in Honour Among Thieves so great is that there’s a sincerity to it rather than the self-deprecating humour a lot of big franchise films have nowadays, like they’re almost embarrassed by what genre of film they’re making. There’s no winking to the camera, or characters making fun of the situations they find themselves in, or any jokes that undercut the tension or emotional significance of a moment. It lets the tension and emotion breath and that makes certain moments all the more impactful and satisfying.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is just a really fun time and it’s really funny too. It’s a proper old fashioned adventure but in the best possible way and the characters are all wonderfully flawed, interesting and easily likeable. Even the baddies like smarmy Forge and the suitably unnerving Sofina, are characters you love to hate. 5/5.

One comment

  1. I love this so much too! I was so glad that Edgin and Holga are strictly platonic best friends who will do anything for each other. That made my day!

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