By Dakota Whitlock/Texan Mosaic Staff
Don’t drink your potion of healing too quickly, you don’t want to miss a moment of this movie.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”had the odds stacked against it when it hit box offices. It comes from a line of despicably bad Dungeons & Dragons movies during a time where Superhero movies are saturating the market.
Even with the odds stacked against it, this movie exploded in popularity and might be changing the movies we see in theaters now.
“Honor Among Thieves”is not just a Dungeons & Dragons movie, it may take place in some of the most recognizable settings in the game, have some of the most notable tropes and monsters, but it is a good movie with or without the D&D affiliation.
This movie used practical effects seamlessly in tandem with computer generated effects. Many puppets, moving sets and camera tricks give off the illusion of a fantasy world where aarakocra (bird people) convene with Halflings and humans, a world where brave heroes can save a baby tabaxi (cat people) from the mouth of a giant fish, and dragonborn (dragon people) wear cute little glasses that barley fit on their snouts. And all these things are done with practical effects, giving a greater sense of reality, and comedy to this movie.
One of the greatest scenes in this movie is when the sorcerer, Simon, played by Justice Smith, accidentally reverses gravity with his Wild Magic. Not only is Wild Magic a popular mechanic in the tabletop game, it is portrayed incredibly well in the movie, with a moving set and cameras that provided a scene better than any CGI.
This movie is far from just being for an audience of D&D lovers, this is a great comedy with touching moments and well-choreographed action. It is not a perfect movie by far, there are many tropes and jokes that do play for a well-informed audience, and these may be confusing or jarring. But, if you have had any interest in what a six month to yearlong D&D campaign looks like without wanting to invest that time, this two hour and 14-minute movie gives a really good look into it.
The typical game of D&D starts with a team being given a mission, in this case the team was breaking out of jail to go find Edgin the Bard’s, played by Chris Pine, daughter and the McGuffin (a term used in generalization of a story meaning the object of desire for one reason or another). This should be but surprise, Edgin and Holga the Barbarian, played by Michelle Rodrigeuz, run into conflict and this leads them down another path. Then, they gather a team, run into another complication and have to redirect several times before finally finding their way.
With the amount of Marvel movies being mass produced in an expansive universe that you can no longer seem to enjoy without watching a backlog of 20 plus hours of content, it is nice to have a break with a silly movie about a few people making strange decisions in a fantasy world.
If you have any inkling of interest in D&D, the fantasy genera, or are just tired of all the movies in theaters being so serious, this is absolutely worth a watch. Honestly, this is worth a watch just for Themberchaud, the chunky red dragon who rolls around to get places.
On the horizon, with the success of “Honor Among Thieves”comes another movie from the D&D universe, in the planning phases is “Dragonlance.” A classic adventure about war and heroism, which was just recently converted into a fifth edition module, making it optimized for modern D&D.