REVIEW: ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ Is a Surprisingly Fun and Exciting Ride
There are movies in this world that just feel like they shouldn’t work, but when they do, magic happens. And when you think of a movie about Dungeons & Dragons, you might not think that it is going to be something you need to see, but that is not the case with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves! I’d … honestly go to movie theaters and see it as soon as you can, because the easiest way of talking about this movie is just to say that this is what happens when you let people break out of their Hollywood “types” and have fun.
**Slight spoilers for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves lie ahead.**
With an all-star cast of celebrities who are typecast in one way or another, Honor Among Thieves really lets its cast shine and have fun with their roles in a way that is intoxicating to watch. With a nearly 2.5-hour runtime, there was at no point during this movie that I wanted it to end. I just wanted to stay with my new favorite characters and see what adventures came next.
Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine) is a lute-playing plan maker who is just trying to get out of prison to get back to his daughter (Chloe Coleman). He was caught in the middle of a heist with his best friend Holga Kilgore (Michelle Rodriguez), and the two have spent two years together in jail and are trying to commute their sentence. That’s where the movie starts, with us hearing their story and seeing why they were there.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a story about a father and his daughter
But it sets a tone throughout the film about family and what it means to love someone. Edgin relies on Holga, and the two raise his daughter, Kira, together after the passing of his wife, but they are just two friends trying to stay afloat in this world. And so, when both Holga and Edgin are captured, he begs his friend at the time, Forge (Hugh Grant), for help.
So when Edgin and Holga get back to her, they realize that their “bug,” as Holga affectionately calls her, has been told lies, and she thinks that her father and Holga left her for money, not to try to help her. It makes Edgin’s motivations throughout the movie all about trying to find a way to get his daughter back and to trust him against, and it really grounds his arc in a way that makes the weight of everything they’re doing that much more significant.
It helps that Pine knows exactly how to make you laugh and cry within in the same scene, and you really do feel his desperation for trying to get his daughter back.
Michelle Rodriguez shines
From the start of her career and into things like Lost and the Fast & Furious franchise, Michelle Rodriguez has shown us that she can take a punch and dish them out. But what is so wonderfully refreshing about Holga is that her strength is praised. She’s a character who uses her power to help the team, and it doesn’t take away from her femininity, either. She finds love and happiness, and while yes, she lost them in her life, they were still something she explored and enjoyed.
I did not expect to cry over this movie, but it got me, and it was because of the heart that Rodriguez pours into her role as Holga. I loved seeing how she showed her love and affection for Kira (her bug) and how she cared for Edgin, but it wasn’t ever in a sexual way. They are two friends who were raising a kid together and just trying to make the best life for her they could.
And I’d watch an entire franchise of just Holga’s adventures both before Edgin and with him and Kira. I think she’s such a fascinating character, and it is made just that much better through Rodriguez’s performance.
Let Regé-Jean Page always be this funny
One of the only disappointing things about the movie is that Regé-Jean Page is not in it as much as you’d hope he’d be. Playing Xenk, Page shows up about halfway through the movie to help our team retrieve a helmet that Simon (Justice Smith) needs. The only one who can help them get there is Xenk and so they go to find him. This eternal being is one who does not understand humans, so most of his relationship with Edgin is met with Pine rolling his eyes over Xenk taking everything too seriously.
But it is genuinely funny to see Page just embrace this role and play his part in the world while also being laugh out loud funny, even if Xenk wouldn’t get it. Sometimes, jokes where the one character just takes everything too seriously can get boring and dry very quickly, but what really works about this is that Page brings something extra to Xenk and his inability to understand humor that just makes it fun to watch.
What a team!
The thing that works so well with Honor Among Thieves is that every character is layered and fascinating to watch. Whether it is Daisy Head as Sofina, Grant’s take on Forge, Simon (Smith), or Doric (Sophia Lillis), the movie lets its characters breathe, and you instantly know what their “deal” is when you first meet them. We know that Simon isn’t confident because Doric doesn’t want to date him because he’s self conscious.
Doric isn’t afraid to tell everyone what she’s feeling and while she might be awkward, it stems from her hatred of humans—all things we learn relatively quickly about her. The point is that we don’t have to wonder about who is who because the movie does a great job explaining everyone to us right out of the gate, and it makes for a great team dynamic when Simon and Doric start to work with Edgin and Holga.
Overall, I think that the movie just plays really well into the action/comedy genre and is one of those movies that hits you in unexpected ways. And anytime Chris Pine gets to be charming and funny, I’m in.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves hits theaters on March 31, and it’s a must-see!
(featured image: Paramount Pictures and eOne)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]