Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Review: Cheesy, cheerful, comedic fun!

Wildly entertaining with nary a missed step, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves stands as an instant classic, a truly escapist fantasy at a time we need it the most.

As if spilling out of the character sheets in your weekend D&D session (that one weekend where everyone is available, mind), Honor Among Thieves presents the story of Edgin (Chris Pine), a former do-gooder whose fall from grace caused the death of his wife Zia and estrangement with is daughter Kira. After getting caught along with his best friend Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) in a magical heist gone wrong, Edgin plots to reunite with his daughter and right his wrongs. Pretty straightforward, except for the fact that his daughter is in the care of his double-crossing former teammate Forge (Hugh Grant), who has under his employ a dreaded Red Wizard of Thay...

It could have gone wrong in a myriad of ways. Even supposedly bulletproof IPs have stumbled as of late. But directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (with story help from Chris McKay and Michael Gilio) found a winning formula here: just make an earnest action adventure movie that believes in everything it says and does. No winking to the audience, no tired pop culture references (don't worry, no one does a Fork Knife dance here), just using well-worn fantasy tropes in the way Gary Gygax intended. The segues, the plan pivots, the backstories, all come together to make this feel like a night of gaming with friends, except with a bigger budget for jaw-dropping action sequences involving red dragons and undead wizards!

The ensemble cast is an absolute hoot. Chris Pine is positively magnetic as Edgin. Michelle Rodriguez's Holga is just Michelle Rodriguez in barbarian garb, which is a compliment here. Justice Smith is affecting enough as the bumbling sorcerer Simon, and you'll cheer just as I did when he finds his footing. Sophia Lillis' tiefling druid Doric has a no-nonsense charm, and so does RegĂ©-Jean Page's paladin Xenk Yendar. This motley crew carries their share of emotional and comedic weight, and their chemistry as a group feels like a Dungeon Master's dream party.

Don't worry if you feel like you'll get lost in the nerd jargon. The film paints the vivid world of Faerun and its characters in broad strokes, letting you embrace this fantasy setting as a layman while adding to the viewing of those in the know. You may not differentiate your Neverwinter from your Neverember, but all you need to know is that Red Wizards of Thay are evil, and if Edgin and co. don't stop their plan of world domination, the game session movie is over.

With incredibly fun and exciting action, good-spirited comedy, and a whole lot of heart rounding out the rest of this gem of a film, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is proof positive that good things come from those who care. Highly recommended!

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