OPINION: “Dungeons and Dragons” film adaptation revitalizes the fantasy genre with fun and energetic new characters

<p>Courtesy of Grimlock Magazine</p>

Courtesy of Grimlock Magazine

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” releases in theaters on Mar. 31; last week, I had the opportunity to attend an early screening through AMC’s Early Access event. As someone who has never played the Dungeons and Dragons game, I went into the film blindly. Despite knowing little about the source material, I found a lot to appreciate from the film and I think others, regardless of experience with the Dungeons and Dragons game, will enjoy it too. 

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. It follows Edgin (Chris Pine) and a group of thieves (Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis) who venture on a quest to find a lost relic, but things get dangerous as they cross paths with the wrong people (Hugh Grant, Daisy Head). Although the plot is fairly derivative and straightforward, the movie offers compelling characters and an easy-to-follow storyline.

When it comes to the story, it is nothing groundbreaking, which is exactly what I loved about it. The standard storytelling gave the movie a throwback feeling that many films have been missing in recent years. 

Pine’s witty banter and charisma makes his character immediately likable, but it’s Edgin’s storyline involving his family and band of thieves that is the most compelling. His light-hearted personality mixed with the seriousness of the other thieves creates amusing chemistry comparable to a Marvel film. 

Learning about how the people around you are more important than wealth may not be as interesting as it sounds, but I couldn’t help but feel eager to see Pine go through that development. His decision-making is justifiable despite the harmful effects, and having a lead who makes mistakes is ideal for this movie as it brings the character down-to-Earth. 

The rest of the cast compliment Pine nicely, with Rodriguez being a standout. Her bad-assery yet motherly warmth makes her character extremely watchable.

With a budget of 150 million dollars, most movies would try to up the stakes to an “end of the world” level conflict, but in this case, the family-centered screenplay gave the film more room to be heartfelt and enjoyable. By the end of the film, it delivers all the action you would want in an adventure film while giving you a rag-tag group of thieves that you are happy you spent time with. 

Not just anyone can provide the fun tone that Goldstein and Francis Daley did for this film. Through the fast-paced editing style and physical humor, the directors have excellent comedic timing that provides for an entertaining ride unlike anything else in theaters now. 

Taking tropes from their other films like “Game Night" and “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, they use childish gags and adult innuendos to create an environment that is broadly appealing. If these two filmmakers were not behind the camera, you would have a completely different experience and likely one that is not as engaging.

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is one of the most fun experiences I’ve had at the theater so far this year. The film doesn’t delve into deep thematics that change your perception of life, but Goldstein and Francis Daley do a great job of making the movie appealing to all moviegoers. 

Whether you are a fan of fantasy, action, or family films, this movie has something for everyone. The film comes out on Mar. 31, 2023, and I implore you all to seek this movie out. You will not be disappointed.

Trevor Stucker (he/him) is a freshman majoring in Applied Film and Journalism. This is his first year writing for The Campus Citizen.

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