“Honor Among Thieves” is the best silly movie of the year
Reading Time: 2 minutes Not every film needs to be a cinematic masterpiece or compete for the Academy Awards. “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is a joy in the simplest way.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” perfectly depicts the silly and chaotic energy generated from a typical session of the tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). Anybody familiar with the game can appreciate the film’s bumbling heroes and their penchant for failure, their tendencies for mistakes and the creative solutions concocted as a result.
Audiences unfamiliar with the film’s source material seem to enjoy the film as well. Per review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, “Honor Among Thieves” currently touts a 91% critic score and a 94% audience score. Considering the property’s lack of commercial and critical success in the past, “Honor Among Thieves” deserves praise for its appeal to D&D fans and general audiences alike.
Actors Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez headline an impeccably charismatic ensemble cast. Hugh Grant delivers one of the film’s best performances as the smarmy, treasonous con man. Grant’s smile is infectious and infuriating. The acting is stellar throughout — it’s blindingly clear that the cast enjoyed themselves during filming.
The film’s plot, however, is perhaps its weakest attribute. Predictable is the best word for it. When the majority of your audience can predict the film’s conclusion just thirty minutes in, you might have a writing problem. Fortunately, the performances, music, sound design, visuals and action set pieces more than make up for a lackluster narrative.
Scenes involving Rodriguez’s Holga and Regé-Jean Page’s Xenk deserve special attention on account of some wonderfully choreographed and (mostly) practical fight sequences. In a cinematic era of rapid cuts and entirely CGI locations, the more grounded action scenes in “Honor Among Thieves” are a breath of fresh air.
“Honor Among Thieves” is the palate cleanser audiences need every now and again — it likely won’t win any major awards, and it would be disingenuous to assert that such a simple Dungeons & Dragons film is a cinematic work of art. But maybe Chris Pine being chased through caverns by a grossly-overweight dragon is something we need occasionally.
If a palate cleanser is what you need to get you through the end of the semester, catch “Honor Among Thieves” in theaters now, or consider being a part of “Dead Wars,” a world-record-sized D&D campaign being hosted in Provo Towne Centre Mall on April 22.