Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie review (2023)

Winford Hunter

If it all seems like it’s more for fantasy avid gamers than “everyone,” well, it undeniably is. The film is filled with references to D&D—name drops like “Baldur’s Gate” and “Neverwinter” designed audible responses throughout the premiere—but I would not go as considerably as to say the film will not get the job done at all for folks who have never designed a character for a marketing campaign. Most of the references in this article will audio like depth for non-gamers who may see far more parallels to solutions like “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Witcher” than their precise source. It is a film which is abundant in fantasy terminology in a way that seems like its creators affectionately recall building characters in their mom’s basement when they have been young. That legitimate curiosity in the lore of D&D may be sufficient for some folks. But what about everyone else?

Passion for a source does not usually translate to execution in terms of craft, and the filmmaking here is shoddy. In phrases of the flashes and bangs, “Honor Among Intruders” works a great deal greater when it focuses on useful effects (or at the very least ones that look practical—everything is CGI currently) and can discover a tactile high quality that the CGI-heavy sequences deficiency. When Edgin and his workforce are waking up corpses to get information, or Sofina is simply scowling in her malevolent makeup, the film is extra grounded than when it’s drifting off in magic-driven sequences of people casting spells both of those willy and nilly. There’s also a absence of environment-building in a movie that should be dense with it when it will come to style. Forge’s city looks like a generic fantasy online video sport environment, and the opportunity to craft appealing backdrops for these different people is not often taken. It appears to be like a film which is going to age improperly visually.

The forged is moderately strong, with Pine leaning into the rough charisma I have usually imagined would have built him a enormous star in the ‘60s. All of the solid was evidently decided on to engage in to their strengths, with Grant amplifying his smarm and Rodriguez kicking ass when necessary. Relative newcomers Smith and Lillis are helpful, as well, with the former discovering some vulnerability and the latter getting constantly partaking as she uncertainly becomes a hero.

What’s most shocking about “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is how minor meat there is on these reanimated bones, even with a bloated 139-moment runtime. When a solid of figures runs from prepare A to strategy B and back to approach A, the continual motion doesn’t permit for substantially else. Most of this film is “What we do now?” Again, that’s enjoyment with mates, significantly less so when you have no management more than the response.

This review was filed from the 2023 SXSW Film Festival. “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Between Robbers” opens on March 31.

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