When I saw the trailer for the new Dungeons and Dragons film I completely dismissed it. It looked like a standard Hollywood cash grab with no passion or love behind it. But then I started hearing more about this film. In particular, the fact that John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were behind it. These two had huge roles in Game Night, Spiderman Homecoming, Horrible Bosses and Vacation – movies that are genuinely funny and extremely rewatchable. And then, the reviews came out. Dungeons and Dragons was doing well both critically and commercially and I instantly knew I had to see it.
Dungeons and Dragons Honour Among Thieves is about a thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embarking on a quest to retrieve a lost relic. The adventure goes awry when they run into the wrong people. The film stars Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, Michelle Rodriguez and is written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.
The two Johns have spoken a lot about how they knew the script needed to be incredible for this film to work. They spent years reworking it to make sure it appealed to the fans and captured that sense of friendship that is pivotal to the game. It completely paid off because it is a brilliant script. The movie balances 5 characters that each seem to get a real and honest development over a standard runtime. Everyone in the group has their own voice that makes them that much more hilarious on screen. On top of this, the plot is refreshing and doesn’t follow the same beats as a standard fantasy film. It even maintains an excellent pace that never feels dragged out.
What really surprised me about Dungeons and Dragons was the emotional beats. I did not expect this film to include such well written and performed scenes that were genuinely heartfelt. Each member of the band has a moment that has some serious dramatic weight and adds more depth and layers to these characters. Without these beats, this film would simply be a solid action comedy.
The casting for this film was truly perfect. Victoria Thomas has chosen each actor perfectly to play these unique characters. Chris Pine is doing what he does best – being extremely charismatic and entertaining on screen. I love that Michelle Rodriguez is doing something new and leaning into a comedic tone. Justice Smith has mastered that awkward comedy and Sophia Lillis has this intensity that makes me want to see her in more films. Finally, Rege Jean Page and Hugh Grant really stole the show for me. They were so incredible in their roles that every time they were on screen it felt like their movie.
A lot of action in Hollywood blockbusters can feel very repetitive. You have occasional films like Everything Everywhere All at Once and John Wick 4 reinventing this, but most action movies are just two people shooting lasers at each other. The two Johns clearly understand this. Each action sequence introduces new elements and devices that feel refreshing. Every character uses their skillsets in engaging ways that isn’t just some karate and punching (cough MCU cough). I just love how different each action set piece feels in this film and to other movies being made.
Should you see Dungeons and Dragons Honour Among Thieves?
I honestly believe that this film may be one of the best blockbusters of the year. It is so entertaining and fun from start to finish. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to go and see it again which is exactly what you want from an action comedy. Definitely go see this film because it’s well worth your time.