Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, a fantasy film review by Mark Kermode (video).

Mark Kermode slips on his magic fantasy film-reviewing boots, slips on his Cloak of Critic(ness), and tells us what he thinks of this’un.

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves breathes new life into the classic tabletop RPG.

Edgin the bard (Chris Pine) and Holga the barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez) lead a band of misfits on a mission to rescue Edgin’s daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) from her evil guardian, Forge Fitzwilliam (Jake Gyllenhaal) (Hugh Grant). The egotistical sorcerer Simon (Justice Smith) and the vengeful tiefling Doric accompany them on their journey (Sophia Lillis).

The film’s strengths lay not in its fantasy setting or its epic scope of action, but in its attention to character growth and its examination of adopted family. Interactions between the protagonists sparkle with wit, warmth, and genuine passion, and their chemistry is evident. The film’s smaller-scale purpose makes it feel more personal and relevant in a genre otherwise dominated by high-budget action pictures with world-saving stakes.

The fight sequences and stunts are spectacular, demonstrating a wide range of fighting techniques, from hand-to-hand to magic-based conflict. Sophia Lillis is fantastic as the feisty and resolute Doric, while Justice Smith makes Simon come alive with his fragility and sense of humour. As Hugh Grant plays the wicked Forge Fitzwilliam, he raises the stakes and gives our protagonists a dangerous foe.

The story that Daley and Goldstein have woven is thrilling and fulfilling on an emotional level, and they have managed to capture the essence of Dungeons & Dragons. This movie isn’t like other action movies because of the depth they go to with the plot and the characters. The on-screen and off-screen comradery of the ensemble makes for a film that feels like a faithful recreation of the game’s spirit.

In the end, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is an exciting, touching, and unexpectedly funny film that will please not just fans of the game but also those seeking a character-driven action-adventure picture. Honor Among Thieves has the potential to usher in a new era of action pictures that stress character development and story depth above hollow spectacle thanks to its intriguing tale, superb acting, and unique combination of action and emotion.

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