Friday, March 31, 2023

Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves

Aged like wine or a very nice bourbon.

I know some hardcore, dungeon crawling, bone rolling fans who are gonna dig the shit out of this movie. And as a newbie I felt very proud to know so many tidbits of the world from creatures to spells, but the overall story and characters is where it's at. The plot is pretty much exactly stated in the trailer, a group of noble thieves help a secret dark wizard to acquire a powerful artifact and while working out their own baggage turn full on heroes. The reason why exactly this movie works so well aside from the performances themselves is the backstory, the motivation, the history of these characters. All easily understandable, grounded, and fleshed out enough to where you get them. Though I think the dialogue is written well enough to where even if the backstory wasn't there you get a solid grip on the personalities of our main characters. Of course Chris Pine is a charismatic, funny, and great lead as the bard Edgin and has the biggest arc of our party. Michelle Rodriguez is...okay without shamelessly fawning over a century for this woman, plays a powerhouse barbarian named Holga who is absurdly awesome, has a dry sense of humor, and an undying loyalty to Edgin. I am smitten. Justice Smith is our residential sorcerer Simon, bit of a klutz, has some awkwardness, but is a strong spell slinger. Sophia Lillis as a shapeshifting Tiefling named Doric I feel gets the least stuff to do but I like her character motivation to join the party and has some really cool moments peppered throughout so she is far from a waste. Daisy Head as Sofina, great villain in appearance but average in terms of scheme and I must admit red wizards were unknown to me in my research, but guys seriously? This woman who stares at you like she's from the fucking dark side, in a cloak, smoky eye to the max, and she wants you to break into a vault housing treasure of villains, none of this tipped you off?? Cause that would be a hard pass for me. But truthfully that's the only nitpick I got. The movie is really dang funny, in situation and dialogue with actors who have good timing, and it never feels unnecessary. The tone makes it all work, it projects a sense of fun, high stakes but not really heavy, adventurous feeling and delivers beautifully. It truly does feel like you are watching the visualization of a group of people playing the game, there are botches, good saving throws, proficiencies, getting loot and better weapons, it all feels legit. It works as a fantasy movie yes, you can walk in knowing jack shit about D&D and have some fun, but if you know your stuff it feels like an extension of that universe. And it feels like there is comraderie, group effort, and combining of skills which is the true spirit of the game. So it works well as a movie, it works well as an adaptation of the most popular role playing game in the world, and it no doubt can work well with sequels either following this party or going on a different quest with a new group. Nothing but 4 stars from me, 8.5/10, check it out even if you have just an ounce of interest. Dungeons & Dragons has been nothing but inevitable in my life, I've been hearing about this game since my teen years and I did the research and bought the books, and I may have gotten sidetracked and made my own character (A high elf warlock in league with an Elder God if you wanna know), but the interest is still there and I'm down for more. Hell I already bought the dice, I think I'm pretty much in at that point. Tune in next week for some adaptations of good old Nintendo games.

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