Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Amongst ThievesPG¦ 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD
The twelve-sided die: to the uninitiated, it’s merely a small object with numbers on it, that serves no real purpose, but to those with courage in their hearts, it is a gateway to untold adventure in realms of swords and sorcery.
Welcome to the world of dungeons and dragons, the ultimately role-playing game, that for those that play it, will forever define you as a geek. And although a campaign will often find like-minded geeks around a table, presided over by a dungeon master, this film version forgoes the Jumanji route, and simply delves deep into a real magical world.
Having spent two years in prison, the time has come for Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) to put their case forward for parole. The hearing doesn’t go quite to plan – although in fact it does, and they just don’t realise it – but they manage to escape anyway.
Edgin is keen to reunite with his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman), who is being looked after by an old colleague of theirs, Forge (Hugh Grant). But when that too doesn’t go to plan, the pair find themselves back at square one.
Forge has taken on Sofia (Daisy Head), who has considerable magical powers, as he’s keen to keep the status quo, as it currently places him a position of great authority. But preventing him from getting his daughter back doesn’t sit well with Edgin. But he knows the game has changed since they’ve been away, and that he will need to put together a team, with each member having their own specific skills, if he is ever to get his daughter back.
The game of Dungeons & Dragons has been around since 1974, and although its influences can be seen in many a fantasy film since, and it’s even had an underwhelming film franchise under the same name that first appeared in 2000, this is its first successful mainstream appearance.
Much of that is down to the fact that although it has obvious nods towards the game, the film itself can be best described tonally as a fantasy version of Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy, where a disparate band of individuals are thrown together to confront various quests.
And just as it does with Marvel’s space franchise, this one relies on some sharp humour throughout, which is perfectly executed. Pine reveals a real aptitude for humour, that we only had glimpses of with his Captain Kirk, that he absolutely revels in here.
But the humour isn’t confined to just Pine, with the film itself clearly sprinkled with the ghost dust of the likes of Monty Python.
You also get a great sense of camaraderie from the team, which is always a key to the success of these types of films, with great performances from all its members, played by Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis and Regé-Jean Page. And Grant makes a delicious villain too, with the only downside of his role being that there just isn’t enough of him.
On top of that, the quests they find themselves on are inventive and absorbing, making for a thoroughly magical adventure.
Of course if you’re a fan of the game – and it’s OK, you can admit it, it’s a safe space here – then you are bound to get a lot more from it, but if you’re not familiar with the shenanigans of the game, it doesn’t matter as it still works as a hugely entertaining fantasy film – just roll with it and enjoy.