“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is said to bring out the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure. And it’s definitely an adventure alright — one I’d love to go on if Regé Jean Page would hold my hand, as he offered to do in the film. But if you’re not already a fan of the game, should you even bother to see the “Dungeons and Dragons” movie?
I got to watch “Dungeons and Dragons” in Austin, Texas when it premiered at the SXSW 2023 Film Festival, and I have to say — as someone who’s never played the game, or even knows what it’s really about, I followed the movie pretty well. But I still know absolutely nothing about DnD! And I’m kind of sad that I don’t know anything about the game, because a part of me feels like I missed out on a few things.
Yet, the film itself is a pretty simple one. “A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.” And for those of us who know nothing about this world, it will feel like just a really silly movie about finding a way to bring back a loved one, and finding a way to believe in yourself — with a few “cool” new creatures. But nothing more.
So, should you go see the “Dungeons And Dragons” movie?
Well, let’s see …
The first act is incredibly cheesy and the cinematography didn’t quite work for me, along with most of the jokes. I mean, that Jonathan joke was dragged to hell and back! Of course, after it flew around the sun and landed safely on its ass, it did pay off — and they got a few good laughs out of me throughout the rest of the film. That ‘finger joke’ landed quite well. Not that I even remember what it was even about! But I did write that bit down in my notes, and want you all to know that I didn’t hate this film. It’s just not my kind of humor.
But if you can get past the cheesy humor, and stick it out, you can get to the good stuff. And well, the good stuff? The really good stuff? Happens to have a name! Two in fact.
Regé Jean Page and Justice Smith.
Yup, those are the two reasons you should actually watch the “Dungeons and Dragons” movie. They’re what make this film bearable! Without them, it’s nothing more than a ‘passable family adventure flick’ and a chance to take a nap.
Listen, I absolutely loved Justice when he starred in the “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” movie, so I was really looking forward to seeing him in the DnD movie. But I don’t think I was quite ready for how incredibly entertaining, and funny, he would actually be!
And well … Regé is just fine as hell. I’m kidding … well, only a little.
However, his character literally walks in with swagger, and a whole lot of machismo — and effortlessly saves a baby, when we first see him. So let’s just call a spade a spade, okay? He’s fine, we know it, he knows it. But he’s also just one hell of an actor. He makes this world more believable, and elevates it from “just a cheesy film for nerds”. Thankfully.
So it’s not completely a waste — it’s a feel good film, that I think most will be able to enjoy, especially since we’ve gotten so many heavy films and tv shows lately. *ahem* I’m looking at you “Swarm“. There’s just one too many damn corny ass jokes for me to call this a great film. And if you hated how foolish “Thor: Love and Thunder”, and “Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania” was, then good luck with this one my friend. Because this one’s worse.