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Movie Review – Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

I never played Dungeons and Dragons. Or saw the badly reviewed film made so long ago. Or read the books. Or had any knowledge of the lore aside from watching the cartoon on Saturday mornings during my 80’s childhood. I went into the new film only knowing that I was only there to see Chris Pine. Yeah, I admit it. I was lured in by the best Chris. I have no shame in it.

The film, as it turns out, is a fun fantasy romp through world building and magic. Chris Pine just adds to the scenery. In the best of ways, of course. The plot is surprisingly simple for a film based on such a complex game. Edgin and Holga (Pine and Michelle Rodriguez) escape from prison to return to Edgin’s daughter when they realize that the sorceress who landed them in prison to begin with is plotting to take over a large city and turn the people into a dead army. They enlist the help of several other magical people who’s powers vary but together, they are formidable yet flawed.

The story is easy to follow and gives each of the characters room to grow. The special effects are stellar. And there is enough humor to offset what could have been a very serious film, bringing laughter back into a genre that has become stoic. While I love films like Lord of the Rings and Dune, it’s nice to have a film that carries the fantasy, adventure, and magic aspects with a mix of humor that often seems missing in recent fantasy films. Fantasy action films can be fun too.

As for Chris Pine, he owns this role and adds a bit of nuance as his character deals with the loss of his wife and the guilt of knowing it was his fault with him through the worst of circumstances. I went in assuming he would carry this film, but Rodriguez, Sophie Lillis, and Justice Smith hold their own alongside him. I even enjoyed Hugh Grant as a villain, even if I am not a huge fan.

See this one in the theater if you can. It was made for the big screen.

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