Let’s make it clear right away, for the avoidance of doubt: Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is one of the most entertaining fantasy ever made, thanks to a formidable cast (led by Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez and enriched by Regé-Jean Page, Hugh Grant, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Daisy Head, and Br…well, we can’t reveal it!), a world that is rich and filled with details (based on the famous role-playing game), and so many remarkable staging ideas (thanks to the imagination of the directing duo consisting of John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, famous for signing the screenplay for Spider-Man: Homecoming and directing the comedy thriller Game Night: they are also responsible for the subject of the upcoming DC film The Flash, whose already high expectations now can only go up).
As an absolute stranger to the D&D role-playing game universe (but, to show a modicum of professionalism, on the eve of the press screening organized by Eagle Pictures and Paramount Pictures Italia I caught up with all three previous live-action feature films of the saga, namely 2000’s Dungeons & Dragons – Let the Game Begin, 2005’s Dungeons & Dragons 2: Wrath of the Dragon God, and 2012’s Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness, which I had only glimpsed in the past: the advice is to let it go) expectations, we must say, were rather low. After only five minutes of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, however, I was already ready to stay in the room for the sequel.
The honor of thieves, the love of fathers
The story, one can imagine, brings the extraordinary world of the legendary role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons to the big screen.
Don’t expect a Jumanji approach (the protagonists are not kids who are playing Dungeons & Dragons in our world: the world of Dungeons & Dragons is ‘the real world,’ as will be said at one point in the film) nor are the adult and violent atmospheres a la House of the Dragon (though there will be no shortage of scares and gruesome details) but the fun, action-packed, always witty (but never silly) and even oh-so-moving story (I wasn’t crying in the finale, I just got a nut in my eye) of A charming thief and his unlikely company of adventurers., all belonging to different races (‘classes,’ Dungeons & Dragons players would call them) and united to carry out the heist of the century in order to recover a lost ancient relic.
Successful mix of heist-movie, 80s family adventure, and good feelings, with chubby dragons and owl-bears, undead returned alive for only five questions, and upright paladins always walking toward the horizon, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves succeeds in virtually all of its objectives: he doesn’t invent anything (the way he uses the vistas of our world to create a fantasy world and show it to us as the protagonists travel through it, for example, is taken verbatim from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings) but ideas for staging this world are many and remarkable, revealing
Great mix of special effects (never heavy) and practical effects, with many magical creatures recreated directly on the set and impressive sets, but most convincing of all is the chemistry that unites this cast, with a very precise script that develops all the main characters to perfection, endearing the audience to each of them in just two hours in anticipation of the tear-jerking finale.
We want more right away, kudos to all: this is how great entertainment cinema is made.