By JORDAN NUNER, LANCE HOOPER and CASEY JONES
“Dungeons and Dragons” is a tabletop role-playing game where a Dungeon master has created details of an adventure where the players partake in various challenges while still maintaining a realistic continuity of events.
Recently, the popularity of “Dungeons and Dragons” has reached mainstream status as more and more people enjoy playing the game.
“D&D’s” reputation has changed a lot since the late 70s. At that time, it was one of the first role playing games for teens and some religious groups accused the game of warping the innocent minds of teens, turning them to devil worshiping and witchcraft.
Today, it’s a beneficial social activity played on college campuses and other friendly locations that many people enjoy and it’s no longer deemed scary or inappropriate.
Shows like “Stranger Things” and actors like Joe Manganiello famously showing the game some love has given the game some recent notoriety. With all this recent stir around the board game that uses polygon and decagon-sided dice to give players special powers, it’s no surprise that art imitates life and a new “Dungeons and Dragons” movie franchise emerges to entertain in the new year.
Subtitled “Honor Among Thieves,” the movie takes a similar approach to the game’s storytelling but with little to do with the actual gameplay. There’s no roll of the die or real humans involved, only a fantasy medieval world, extensive character backstories and some strange object names and story bits that seem a bit absurd or overexaggerated and overly complicated rules.
This makes the movie feel like a tabletop game without putting too much emphasis on the fact that it is based on a tabletop game. The world is real and the people in it are real. It is not fiction made up by a person, but a series of events that seem like a role-playing game for the sake of giving off that vibe.
This movie does a great job of portraying its tabletop roots without turning away people who have no idea what it even is or how to play. You don’t have to be familiar with the game to enjoy this delightful enchanting farce. This is a refreshing fun franchise to get behind, with great special effects and lovable endearing characters. It’s not too dark or mysterious, just some fun mystical wizardry.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is just what moviegoers need to get back in movie theatres. The movie’s release date is definitely a push to start the summer blockbuster season a little early this year, to test the waters on fickle movie crowds that covid had recently decimated. “Honor Among Thieves” brought in $38.5 million at the box office opening weekend, so that is a good indication that audiences are ready to see action movies in the theatre again.
“D&D: Honor Among Thieves” brings an unexpected all-star lineup. Chris Pine, Michele Rodrigues, and Hugh Grant get audiences to the theatre while Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith and Sophie Lillis deliver captivating performances. Chris Pine adds a funny smartass gypsy vibe to his character, and Hugh Grant gives his usual charm. Michele Rodriguez is the surprise of the mix, she delivers a great comedic performance and you are happy she has a new franchise to attach to instead of Fast and Furious forever.
For those with limited knowledge of D&D or if you are a D&D fanatic I highly recommend watching it as it is an enjoyable experience that tells a story for all viewers, no matter what their experience level is. This movie brings us a fun, action filled story that is quite enjoyable to watch. It is definitely worth returning to theaters with sprinkles of certain lingo from the game for those who are familiar with “D&D.”