Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

A widowed bard (Chris Pine) has to find a relic to resurrect his wife. That is the entire plot of this 2+ hour Dungeons & Dragons movie.

Guardians of the Khaleesi.

Of all the possibilities open to a D&D film, Honor Among Thieves chooses none of them. Out of six main characters, four are human – and the other two might as well be, since their only discernible difference is having slightly pointy ears. Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Game Night) had the entire fantasy canon at their disposal and came up with something about as diverse as the cast of Cluedo.

Sure it throws in a couple of D&D creatures (owlbear, gelatinous cube, teenage girl) as fan service, but the world is so undefined as to actually feature paintings from ours. Say what you like about the 2000 version, at least it established its setting, with a basic political and social system that governed the scenario. This has no context or parameters, nor is there anything as fun or memorable as Jeremy Irons. It simply jumps from one inconsequential, disconnected encounter to the next, and every scene ends with someone saying “shit.” Usually it’s someone in the film.

Ostensibly a comedy, the script is all punching and zero punchlines. The level is literally having a character who misunderstands phrases like “son of a bitch” (there’s that bespoke fantasy world-building again) and a dragon who is fat. One sequence ripped off from Monty Python sees the heroes given five questions to extract information from a zombie, only to squander them with such hilarious enquiries as, “What’s your favourite food?” and “What’s 2+2?” – neither of which even get a response. It is a setup without an actual joke, as frustrating as every other missed attack of opportunity in this gelatinous blob of a movie.

Honor Among Thieves is a lazy drag that steals from Marvel and Lord of the Rings and puts the dung in dungeon. The direction, writing and acting are so bad that were it not for the sappy music, we wouldn’t know which bits were meant to be funny and which were emotional. The plot is non-existent, the characters annoying and if it seems weird that I’ve yet to mention the villain, that’s because I genuinely don’t know who they were or what they were trying to do. The result is even worse than the infamous original; fitting then that it ends with Hugh Grant apologising.


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