Honor Among Thieves doesn’t bring a memorable campaign to the table, but it is still a magnificent treat for Dungeons & Dragons fans old and new.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Synopsis
After dramatically escaping from jail for a botched job, former Harper and bard Edgin Darvis heads to Neverwinter to retrieve his daughter, only to discover he was previously betrayed by Forge Fitzwilliam, his rogue companion and now, the new Lord of Neverwinter. Determine to rescue his daughter and reclaim the powerful artifact they earlier stole, Edgin devises an elaborate plan to break into Forge’s magically-protected vault during Neverwinter’s Highsun Games. Like all such adventures, Edgin and his mates soon uncover a sinister conspiracy.
I haven’t played a proper Dungeons & Dragons campaign for a long time. More than 30 years if I don’t consider the video games as the real stuff.
But some things never leave you, do they? Incredible cities and grim caverns that you visited through words and a pencil drawing on the table. Spells you hurled at beholders by shouting the names in your dungeon master’s face …
[Bigby’s Clenched Fist!!!!]
All these memories came rushing back to me yesterday when I watched Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, a movie that’s through and through made for D&D fans young and old. It’s whacky, messy, and full of “why did they do that …” moments. But somehow, magically, the chaos conjured the anything-goes flavour of a real D&D campaign. And through that, created an adventure that’s superbly indulgent even if I nowadays prefer fantasies that are darker in story tone.
[Meteor Storm!!!!] < — Only ever once cast this 30 years ago …
For non-fans of the franchise and especially those who are completely unfamiliar, I suppose Honor Among Thieves could come across as … offbeat? Refreshingly lighthearted for a while but increasingly inane and tedious too. Kind of like watching idiosyncratic buddies play a tabletop game you barely understand. And that’s despite Chris Pine, Hugh Grant (especially), and Michelle Rodrígue all being so effervescent with their characters.
Is that the biggest downside of the show? I suppose it is. But in all honesty, I think it’s something hard to prevent too for anything else would disappoint D&D fans and drag down the fun. The fans, by the way, still numbering in the millions worldwide.
Moving on to the story, it plays like a standard campaign story to me. A well-crafted one with playful twists and touches, but nonetheless, standard. There isn’t much character development, so to speak, and there are certainly no lofty themes of duty, predetermination, or whatever, the likes of those found in high fantasy fiction classics.
But it would be unfair to say that is a flaw, wouldn’t it? For who in Faerun goes on an adventure for those?
It’s all about loot. And for D&D lovers, there’s certainly a lot of loot to revel in with this riotous, loving tribute.
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