Bottom line up front: I really enjoyed the movie. Not only am I planning to buy the Blu-Ray set when it comes out, but I want to go see it a second time in the theaters with more geeky friends.
I don’t know what happened. I remember going to see Dune, Ghostbusters and James Bond in the theaters, and then for some reason I haven’t been back since. I was talking with my geeky wife last week and I asked if she wanted to go see Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Amongst Thieves and it hit me how long it had been. So yea, it was time to go see a movie in the theaters. In the past we’ve gone to movies on the Sunday of the opening weekend. Usually the movie was not as crowded. However for Dungeons and Dragons, it was still very full for a Sunday matinee.
A few months ago, I wondered if I really wanted to go see this movie after the crap that Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro had tried to pull off. After thinking about it, I didn’t want to punish the actors and crew who had already worked hard on this movie and had nothing to do with Hasbro’s corporate level blunder. I will say that when I saw Hasbro’s name come up on the screen, it reminded me that I’m still not happy with them. As a corporation, they haven’t earned my trust or buying impulses back yet for the D&D books.
I can’t really guarantee that I’ll be posting anything spoiler free. A few items were already leaked out onto the internet before the release date. So continue reading at your own risk if you haven’t seen it yet.
First, Chris Pine nailed his character as a bard. He was able to deliver on several ranges that allowed me to connect to him and the character at the end of the movie. I mistook Michelle Rodriguez for the actress who played Cara Dune on The Mandalorian. Michelle played her barbarian roll so well that Disney+ would be smart to pick her up if they wanted to recast the Cara Dune roll. These two are your primary characters in the movie but we had a full range of good characters that played their parts well. If any of you are reading this, sorry, I’m not a professional film critic. Just a fan that liked your works.
There are a few flashbacks in this movie and, in my opinion, they worked well. The humor wasn’t forced and seems like it would come up during a game. I especially enjoyed how the party found the location of a magical helmet. In the movie items from the game, such as spells and creatures, were used without having to go overboard on what they were. Instead of saying “I cast chain lightning”, the spell caster just used the spell. I knew what a displacer beast, rust monster and gelatinous cube was without having to have someone spell it out. When they did have to “explain” something, they were able to present it without breaking the pace. Oh and I loved the dragon. I won’t say anything more on him for those who haven’t seen the movie yet. The setting being used is Forgotten Realms. Several locations and names are dropped that may go over the heads of those not familiar with this particular world.
The spell caster had a weird components pouch that I didn’t recognize from the game. So this may have been something new. One of the things I look forward to when picking up the movie on disc is turning the sub-titles on. Sometimes that can explain a lot more than just hearing it during a noisy scene.
There was one special effect that I thought fell flat. They presented a large number of character races in the film. The dwarf was well done, the tabaxi, aarakocra and dragonborn worked. But when they showed the halfling, he came up short (yea pun intended). I get that they probably didn’t want them looking like the hobbits from Lord of the Rings, but just shrinking the image of a normal human being just looked wrong. Even in the various Dungeons and Dragons books, they looked like the Tolkien hobbits. They could have easily kept the halfling pudgy.
Also there was a very dangerous item at the end of the movie that I don’t know what happened to. I hope it’s not just lying around in the city. Again, another reason I need to watch the movie a second time. I hope to catch more that I missed on the first viewing.
One cameo image that has already made the rounds is the gang from the animated Dungeons and Dragons TV series. While they don’t speak, they do make a couple of appearances that work. Now I need to watch that series again. I did laugh when they came on the screen, but I noticed that I was the only person laughing.
My daughter who is going to college for an art degree wants to see any behind the scenes book for this film. It would be interesting to see it as well. I’d be interested in seeing the character stats, but I’m not interested in signing up for the online D&D game to see them.
One final note about today’s movie going event. It had been a very long time since I had been to an AMC theater. And now I remember why I hardly go there. Non-caring staff, non-working drinking machines, un-stocked restrooms and a very unpleasant experience (not the movie, the theater). I’m sure that I’ll forget why I haven’t been to AMC in about 8-10 years before I get reminded again.
Have you seen the movie? Come to my discord and tell me what was your favorite parts (and yes you can post spoilers there). This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.