You Should Know That ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ Is A Comedy And It’s Pretty Damn Funny

Here’s something I’m starting to notice, albeit maybe anecdotally. Everyone I know who has seen Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the great majority, all seem to like this movie a lot and had a great time. And these are not all the kind of people who have Lord of the Ring marathon watch parties every year. Honestly, most of them are people who would never think of doing such a thing. (Though at least one person I know who loves this movie does have a Lord of the Rings marathon watch party every year.)

Also, maybe anecdotally, people I know who I know would like Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves don’t seem to have a lot of interest. Because, you know, fantasy movies just aren’t for them. Fair enough. But this is why I’m here to tell you that Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is less a fantasy movie and more of a straight up comedy. It’s directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the directors who brought you Game Night. You know, that movie you love with the lines, “How can that be profitable for Frito Lay?,” and, “Oh no he died.”

In a way, I get it. I was once like them. And I really can’t figure out if the title Dungeons & Dragons is a positive or a negative. I mean, look, everyone has heard of it, so that’s good. But a lot of people still don’t know exactly what it even is, now almost 50 years after its creation. It’s not a game that can really be defined as “accessible.” It’s not like busting out the Sorry board game and, passively, a couple of people can waste some time while it’s raining. (I realize this is a very unrealistic scenario in 2023, but in the 1980s this was fairly accurate.) You need a group of people who are really into the idea of playing.

My real only experience with the game was seeing it advertised in comic books, but I thought it was a video game. The ads certainly made it look cool. A friend of mine from school liked playing and invited me over. Still thinking this was a video game, I just assumed, after, we’d pop in Pitfall or Yars’ Revenge. Anyway, no, it was a group of people with the most confusing-looking game sitting out in front of them and scenes were being acted out in great detail. Now here’s where I think there’s a disconnect. This is where it’s easy to go, “these guys are dorks,” and then leave. That’s the easy excuse out. But, being honest, that’s not how I felt. I felt intimidated by how complex this game looked, all the things I’d need to remember, and then having to act it all out. I didn’t play. I did leave, but not because I thought these kids were dorks, but because I felt intimidated and not smart enough to play. I went back to my house and played Zaxxon.

I do wonder if people who are aware of Dungeons & Dragons but have never played (like me) just assume this movie will be too complicated and too mixed up in the lore of whatever that game is? I can’t help but think there’s at least some of that working here. But, again, I’m here to tell you that is not the case. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a full-on comedy. Though I want to be clear it’s not a parody. It is fully set in its world, it’s just an adventure comedy set in that world, with a focus on the comedy.

I actually think the ’80s Saturday morning Dungeons & Dragons cartoon did a pretty good job of trying to make the game a little more mainstream. At least now there were some actual characters to identify with the title. The plot was basically a group of kids are on an amusement park ride and they get sucked into the world of Dungeons & Dragons and now all have weapons and must fight dragons and things like that, but they just want to go home. It was a good premise for a Saturday morning cartoon. And, in fact, these characters have a cameo in the new film, which is fitting because the film is much more like the spirit of the cartoon – lighthearted and fun – then it is the game.

There is a plot to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and it’s a good plot, low on the convolutedness that plagues so many movies today. But the plot is there to set situations in which our heroes find themselves in funny adventures and situations. In a nutshell, Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez play thieves Edgin and Holga, who are betrayed by their former partner, Forge (played by Hugh Grant, having a great time), who is now also raising Edgin’s daughter since Edgin and Holga were sent to prison. They are now out and Edgin wants his daughter back. Forge, who now works with a sorcerer named Sophina (Daisy Head, who is so sinister in this movie), refuses to give Edgin his daughter back. So Edgin and Holga form a team in an effort to both get Edgin’s daughter back, but also, since they are thieves, why not take all Forge’s treasure while they are at it.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a great movie. One of my favorites of 2023. There’s literally a scene of Chris Pine playing a lute, singing a song in a funny voice, while doing a little dance. But I get why you might not think it’s for you. Do you like laughing? Well, then, I promise it’s for you.

‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ opens in theaters on March 31st. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.