Adventure, excitement, a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast craves precisely these things! However, D&D fans would have to wait a very long time before they would see their beloved game well represented on the big screen Well, that time has finally come. I was able to behold the magic, action, and beautiful worlds revealed during this year’s SXSW opening headliner.

In the mystical world of Dungeons & Dragons, former Harper warrior Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine), his barbarian partner Holga Kilgore (Michelle Rodriguez), and Edgrin’s daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) have settled for a life of thievery after the tragic loss of Edgrin’s wife and Kira’s mother. Desperate to provide his daughter with some semblance of their former life, Darvis plans a heist to acquire a resurrection tablet to bring back his wife. Working with sorcerer Simon Aumar (Justice Smith), rogue Forge Fitzwilliam (Hugh Grant), and wizard Sofina (Daisy Head), Edgrin and Holga fail in their quest and end up imprisoned. After spending much time locked up, the two manage to escape. However, their return home reveals their mission failed due to a betrayal within their crew. This betrayal further affirms that Red Wizard Sofina poses a deadlier threat to the world than anyone had anticipated.

This movie is for people who love fantasy stories filled with swords, sorcery, magical creatures, heroes, scoundrels, and villains. With this love letter to this universe, writer/directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Dailey show admiration for D&D games. And one can be familiar with this world and its mythology to appreciate how well the filmmakers interpret the source material. It gives me great pleasure to reveal that Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves delivers the thrilling action, otherworldly fantasy, and laughs galore that the fans deserve.

The casting department struck gold with all of their choices. Chris Pine is perfectly cast as the roguishly heroic, ne’er-do-well Edgin Darvis. Pine utilizes his natural blend of bravado and comic timing, which make his James T. Kirk in Star Trek work so well, to flesh out another lovable and fun troublemaker. As his best friend, tough-as-nails barbarian Holga Kilgore, Michelle Rodriguez brings her brand of sexy badassery that most people know and love.

While Chris Pine and Hugh Grant are pretty entertaining as their shameless characters, the absolute scene stealer is Regé-Jean Page as Xenk Yendar, a charismatic and heroic paladin who assists Darvis and crew with their resumed quest for the resurrection tablet. His character may be humble and earnest but he comes across as a savior of the D&D universe. It is a rather amusing iteration of the essence. Also lovable in their respective roles are Justice Smith, Chloe Coleman, and Sophia Lillls.

Though I initially had doubts about this movie, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Dailey made me a believer and admirer. They proved that a great Dungeons & Dragons movie could be made and made palatable and fun for just about anyone. It was a fantastic way to kick off the SXSW Film & TV festival this year and will now make for a fantastic trip to the cinema.

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