Home » The new D&D movie ‘Honor Among Thieves’ is a triumph

The new D&D movie ‘Honor Among Thieves’ is a triumph

by Stewart Cole

Of Good established that Marvel has succeeded in its long reign as the beloved family action series – the only good movies coming from the company in recent years are “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, “Shang-Chi” and maybe the upcoming Spider-Verse film. Fortunately, “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” marks the beginning of a dynamic new fantasy franchise, with almost infinite D&D lore to draw from.

Chris Pine (“Wonder Woman 1984”) once again has the lovable douchebag role working on him, this time as protagonist Edgin, a bard father to his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman, “65”). After he and his partner-in-crime Holga (Michelle Rodriguez, “F9”) escape from prison for grand theft, Edgin seeks out con man Forge (Hugh Grant, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”), whom he trusted to keep Kira safe.

However, Forge is now the Lord of the city of Neverwinter, who reigns alongside the Red Wizard Sofina (Daisy Head, “Shadow and Bone”) and refuses to let Edgin and Holga have Kira back. So Edgin and Holga assemble a team with the wizard Simon (Justice Smith, “Sharper”) and the druid Doric (Sophia Lillis, “Gretel & Hansel”) and, with help from Paladin Xenk Yendar (Regé-Jean Page , “Bridgerton” ) to take down Forge and Sofina, rescue Kira and retrieve the Tablet of Reawakening, a magical item that Edgin hopes will revive his late wife Zia (Georgia Landers, “The Girl Before” ).

“Honor Among Thieves” is as much comedy as it is action. Edgin’s silliness and authenticity add to his charm, and while not all of his father’s jokes about the impossibility of their mission are funny, most of the jokes stick a wobbly landing. The balance of personalities and strengths in this unlikely group of friends is essential to the success of the humor — Simon is always calling Edgin out on his bullshit, Holga’s gruffness contrasts with Xenk’s lack of ability to understand sarcasm, and Doric’s legitimate skepticism about the group’s plans to infiltrate a well-guarded castle represents exactly what the audience thinks.

Even though I’ve played exactly half of a D&D campaign before, elements of D&D worlds make for stronger characters and action scenes. Sofina’s power as a Red Mage is even more exciting than that of Thanos, even though the audience gets very few scenes with Sofina to be a perfect, archetypal villain. Thanos’ Infinity Stones with unlikely names and supposedly infinite power are no match for Sofina’s mission to recreate the It closes death, historical villain Szass Tam’s plot to turn humans into his zombie-like minions. Doric has the coolest abilities as a druid, shapeshifting into whatever she needs, which surpasses any other fantasy creature. The separation helmetwhich allows the user to break all nearby spells, and the personal from now onwhich allows the user to teleport to any other place in their field of vision, are magical artifacts that benefit from the same imagination found in the D&D cult.

Any good fantasy series features the most infuriating main character who is relatable because they have weaker abilities than all their best friends, but the ability to lead the whole adventure, driven by their sad history. While Edgin is on the more likable side of the infuriating, underpowered main character scale, writer-director duo Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (“Game Night”) miss many opportunities to bring the rest of the band of thieves to life.

All but Edgin are introduced in terms of their motivation to take down Forge and lack the full character arcs that go well with a full story. Doric, who joined because her family was wiped out by Forge’s troops, never returns to see them, nor is there any explanation as to why Forge was after them in the first place. Holga is, in part, trying to get over her divorce from her ex-husband Marlamin (Bradley Cooper, “Nightmare Alley”), whom she meets while going to Forge’s castle. We don’t see a proper ending to her love life, nor do we really know what emotions she’s experiencing beyond her typical barbaric qualities of using brute force instead of words to solve problems.

However, don’t be put off by my review. This movie is the most fun I’ve had in a while. The band of thieves as a whole was easy to root for, which made it easy to look past the one-dimensionality of some of the characters. Sofina is probably one of my favorite villains in a long time. That’s reason enough to watch it.

Alignment diagrams in D&D they are categories used to figure out what action a character can take next, ranging from lawful to chaotic and good to evil. The characters in “Honor Among Thieves” fit into these boxes somewhat clearly because they all make decisions according to their own moral compass, which is mostly consistent throughout the film. Although there are already (formal) alignment chart placements for these thieves as NPCs, I decided to make my own.

Legit good Neutral good Chaotic good
Zia Doric Simon
Mandatory “deceased loved one of the main character that we only see in flashbacks in a positive light” placement. The only magician who can simultaneously smell fresh grass and carry the team on his back in one move. The only magician who can simultaneously smell fresh grass and carry the team on his back in one move.
Legal neutral Really neutral Chaotic neutral
Xenk Yedar Kira Edgin and Holga
His character in this movie is like a prince who was placed in the wrong universe. He’s also the toughest of them all, and it’s not even close. Every time we see her, she is in a relationship with Edgin. We won’t know which way he’s leaning until he’s in high-pressure situations. Generally healthy. They escape imprisonment by riding a giant aarakokra out a window and put their teammates in danger, but they make up for it with chokes potatoes to enemies to protect those they love.
Lawful evil Neutral evil Chaotic evil
Forge Sofina Szass Tam
Standard fare corrupt politician. “Legitimate” has a loose definition here, being comparatively more legitimate than Sofina. She’s a Szass Tam wannabe, but that last fight was lame on her part. If she had more lines, she would be the ideal villain. He actually thought “what if everyone became a zombie lol” and then made it happen. Pretty wild if you ask me.

Daily Arts writer Kristen Su can be reached at [email protected].

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