It’s wonderful when a movie understands its assignment. Honour Among Thieves couldn’t take itself too seriously; after all, if it’s meant to capture the spirit of D&D, it aims to capture a sense of fun, a sense of adventure! There still have to be stakes, though; after all, what’s an adventure without danger, without a villain, and something to lose or something to gain?
I dared to have high hopes for this film, especially when I saw that some of my favourite actors (Hugh Grant, my beloved) were not only involved but outspokenly enthusiastic about the project. I’m so glad to say this movie not only met my expectations but exceeded them.
Chris Pine leads a shockingly star-studded cast as the bard and adventurer Edgin Darvis. From the get-go, his chemistry with barbarian warrior Holga Kilgore (Michelle Rodriguez) had me grinning ear to ear. They didn’t give off the vibe of two heroic warriors. No, they were ‘those two idiots,’ and that is the exact vibe this movie needed to capture. I could so easily imagine the dungeon master rolling their eyes as Michelle describes Holga hurling potatoes into a fight or Chris rolling to attack the villain with the heavy end of his lute.
The rest of the cast, including Sophia Lillis, Justice Smith, Rege-Jean Page, Hugh Grant (my beloved) and Daisy Head, all brought magnificent charm and energy to the piece. As the villainous Red Wizard of Thay Sofina, Daisy Head brought a genuinely, truly unnerving performance and was legitimately frightening in the scenes when she was allowed to shine.
The cast brought so much to the movie, but they weren’t alone in carrying this film. The writing, direction and effects all deserve a shout-out, as does the love and respect the movie showed for the Forgotten Realms, the principal setting of D&D.
I’m a huge D&D nerd, and seeing locations I recognised, even minor ones like Ten Towns and Tribor, had me giddy, but seeing beloved characters; like the rotund Red Dragon Themberchaud (or Femberchonk, as my friends call him) had me cheering out loud. This movie is not simply pandering or a D&D glaze over a basic fantasy film; it was created by those with genuine love and admiration for the world and history of D&D.
That fact gives me so much hope for the future. This movie was stellar, not just for nerds like me who are watching for references. It was an out-and-out fantastic film, D&D fan or not. Like Stranger Things before it, I can easily see this film creating a new generation of tabletop gamers and inspiring new interest in D&D worldwide.
D&D means so much to me; it's created friendships, carried me through rough times, and given me memories to last me a lifetime. I hope this movie sees many more find their adventure in the Forgotten Realms, but, on a selfish note, god, I hope there’s a sequel.
This review was written by team member Andrew Charlton and does not represent the opinions of Pentanet.