Thursday, March 23, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
If you put all the prosaic fantasy stuff into a soup (all the goblins and taverns and caverns, magic whatsits and wyverns and wizards) then served it in the Witch King’s helmet, you’d have this ghoulish goulash they call Dungeons and Dragons. An apocryphal, derivative, generic fantasy thing -that ends up, somehow, surprisingly edible -- in fact, it’s quite delicious.
I jest, though, in some respects. Dungeons and Dragons is not so simplistic and thieving as that. Because all those fantasy genre tropes, those cliches and old chestnuts, either came into being through the famed boardgame or were brought back in fashion by it.
For almost 50 years, Dungeon’s and Dragons has been a cultural touchstone for fantasy nerds everywhere, whether you’d played it or not. And now, for the second time in two decades, it has received a big-screen adaptation: “Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves”. This time, it’s courtesy of John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein who took pointers from the start of this review: they packed the whole kit and kaboodle into this one.
They knew they didn’t need to reinvent the sword to make a good Dungeons and Dragons film. Stack in the traditional elements, throw in a few comedically charged dragons and singing, and watch the dice fly.
We follow the charming thief (and singing bard) Edgin, played by Chris Pine, and his band of unlikely, motley adventurers as they embark on an epic quest to retrieve a long-lost relic. What could be more regular than that? It would be strange if their charming adventure didn’t go dangerously awry (which it does) and they didn’t run afoul of the wrong people (tick that box there).
By definition, this kind of film needs to look and be somewhat run of the mill. What Goldstein and Daley do to mitigate that is to throw in some curve-fireballs, a few D1 and D20 rolls on the dice, and some heartful moments punctuated by quippy humour. It all adds up to make Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, a ridiculous romp of fantastical proportions.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is showing from March 31 at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema
Review Written by Declan Durrant
Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith in ‘Dungeons And Dragons: Honour Among Thieves’