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Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)

My partner, Ali and I both have Unlimited cards with Cineworld.  It allows us to go to the cinema whenever we want as often as we want.  It also gives us the opportunity to see advanced screenings of films a few days before they go on general release.  We were intrigued by the advertisement on our phone app of an “Unlimited Secret Screening”.;  I suggested we should go for it as it could be fun, or we can just walk out, it’s no big deal.  I had not envisaged that it could be an advanced screening of a film that’s not even had a premier in Leicester Square yet.

The lights went down, the screen showed the certificate for the film and the audience gave an audible gasp at the sight of the title “Dungeons and Dragons – Honor Among Thieves”.  The chap, of a similar age to me, the other side of Ali gave a slightly louder “Yess” with a minor fist pump and, I suspect, an eye roll from his teenager son sat the other side of him.  You have to bear in mind that I am seeing this film as a film and that I have no history of D&D, I’ve not seen the cartoons and I can put my hand on my heart and state for the record that I have only played D&D once back in 1994 for one evening and it was a positive but overwhelming experience that I’ve not repeated but happy to do so.

Now, I’m not going to give the plot to you, it’s not in my nature to give spoilers but I will say this about the film, it’s two and a quarter hours of swashbuckling fun.

The film is done in a way not too dissimilar to that of Guardians of The Galaxy but not close enough to realise.  This has an impressive cast, impressive production quality and impressive story.  It’s just impressive.  Co-directed and co-written by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (who will always be affectionately Sweets from Bones to me). This film has an eagerness to succeed and with the quality that it has, it will succeed and rightly so.

The cast is an impressive mix of veteran actors and up and coming future stars.  I have to admit that I think that any film with Chris Pine in the starring role cannot fail as he’s just really good at what he does.  He has acting in his blood, his Father, Robert Pine, played Sgt. Joseph Getraer in CHiPs in the 70’s and his Mother is Gwynne Gilford who played Betty Getraer, the onscreen wife of Sgt. Joseph Getraer in CHiPs, so is it any wonder that Chris followed in their footsteps and became an actor?  He has a wonderful script in this film, in fact they all have, including the irrepressible Hugh Grant, who, in every film I have seen him in, cannot be anyone other than Hugh Grant and you just have to love him for that.  Again, no spoilers here but Hugh has a really juicy role in this movie.  Add Michelle Rodriguez to the pot and you can’t avoid the fact that this film will be good.  My one niggle with the film is there is a predictable sub-story running through the film that when it gets to the end of said sub-story, it’s unavoidably predictable as to the outcome, but I will let you be the jusdge of that, you will know what I mean, and I apologise for not going into great detail because I just don’t want to spoil it for you.

As I said earlier, the cast is a mix, some of the up and coming actors put in superb performances and that is because they had great direction and probably had the most amazing time working and learning on this film.  Just my point of view but keep an eye out for Justice Smith in future films, he’s going places as is Sophia Lillis and Daisy Head.

The special effects need a mention, and the effects are so good, I found it a nice blend of reality, green screen and computer effects.  It’s very difficult to mention how good when I can’t give an example, so please just take my word for it.

Verdict:10/10 – Without digressing and sounding like I’m on repeat, this movie is well worth the money.  It’s one for my Blu-Ray collection, yes, I AM old school.  Ali and I agreed that when the film is out on general release at the end of March (31st), we will abuse our Unlimited Cards and watch it again.  It is THAT good!

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