Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

I watched this film on the flight from Zurich to Toronto. Airline entertainment systems are in no way a good choice for viewing movies (other than being free and you are trapped in your seat), but I don’t think that matters here because this movie has no pretensions.

As the title suggests, Honor Among Thieves is a spin-off from the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. The various characters are all easily identifiable as D&D character types, as are many of the monsters. The storyline is intended to have something of the feel of a D&D game, including a visit to a monster-filled underground location to retrieve a magical artefact. Much of the time the script is played for laughs, and there’s no attempt at making a serious point beyond the ideas that loving your children is good, and sacrificing huge numbers of people to gain magical power is bad.

In terms of cast, Chris Pine, as Edgin the Bard, is far better used than he was as Jim Kirk or as Steve Trevor. Regé-Jean Page is superb as the snooty and annoying paladin, Xenk. And Hugh Grant steals the show as the slimy and villainous con-man, Forge (even if he is channeling Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok).

I don’t have a lot to say about this film because there isn’t a lot to it. But if you are looking for a couple of hours of fun, mostly harmless and vacuous entertainment, this delivers very well.

As to whether this will do the job of selling copies of D&D for Hasbro is another matter, but clearly the creation movies like this is something that Hasbro can do, but Wizards of the Coast could probably never aspire to as an independent company.