Reviews: Review of “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, with Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Hugh Grant

The co-directors of Vacation (2015) and game night (2018) venture into large-scale cinema with this film that revives with not a few achievements the film universe conceived from the classic and popular role-playing game that had been so badly produced by the film headlined in 2000 by Jeremy Irons. After a painstaking production (the project went through Universal, continued at Warner Bros., and ended up at Paramount), the artistic result this time is quite stimulating and entertaining.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, United States/2023). Direction: Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. Cast: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head and Jason Wong. Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley and Michael Gillio. Photography: Barry Peterson. Editing: Dan Lebenthal. Music: Lorne Balfe. Distributor: UIP (Paramount). Duration: 134 minutes. Suitable for people over 13 years of age.

The screenings for the press are a good indication of the interest that certain films (or sagas, or universes) arouse a priori in the media. One already knows that if it is a Marvel production the function will be crowded; and if it is a DC film, the assistance will be equally massive, although a little less. I was surprised when I entered at 10:57 in the morning to find that the enormous room 4 of the Cinemark Palermo was practically empty (barely twenty accredited people). It is likely that the traditional role-playing game created almost half a century ago does not have many followers among the new generations of journalists (veterans are less and less in the “private” ones), but even so, the painful call was a rarity. And also an injustice.

The thing is Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves It is a good (at times very good) movie. The film by the rising duo made up of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley may not have aspects that make it a particularly innovative proposal, but in its accumulation, its mixture, its commitment to collage and mashup, it combines with many more hits than misses. elements typical of action, adventure and fantasy cinema.

The script signed by the filmmakers themselves together with Michael Gillio proposes a mix between comedy of entanglements (there are good physical gags and sharp dialogues) and an epic winged.lord of the rings with an impressive display of visual effects (the budget exceeded 150 million dollars) to create castles, prisons, coliseums, conceive gigantic and exotic creatures, and expose in all its dimensions the effects of different magical powers. And, of course, giving away multiple references and winks for D&D fans.

Chris Pine stars as Edgin Darvis, a member of some sort of secret lodge, who is part spy, part con man, part thief, part hero, part anti-hero. From the opening scene we find him in a maximum security prison with Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), a tough warrior with few fleas but deep down with a good heart. Darvis has his wife murdered, while his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) ends up being co-opted by Forge Fitzwilliam (a Hugh Grant who has evidently enjoyed being the villain in every shot) and the powerful and ruthless red mage Sofina. (Daisy Head).

Which Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves narration, in short, is the path of heroes (even if they are imperfect and carry multiple shortcomings): Darvis and Holga will be joined by Simon (Justice Smith), an insecure and rather pathetic sorcerer; the druid Doric (Sophia Lillis) and occasionally Xenk (Regé-Jean Page), a more traditional and formal gentleman.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves It is a happily anomalous film because it manages to combine a nostalgic spirit with state-of-the-art technological paraphernalia at the service of the story and a nonchalance that contrasts with the solemnity that prevails in this type of film. tanks. Yes, at times the more than two hours of story are a bit derivative and extensive, but in Goldstein and Daley there is a playful spirit and a genuine love for the genres that are contagious and are the keys to enjoyment.

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