Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
March 31, 2023 6:32 AM - Subscribe

A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.

Edgin Darvis spent years working as a member of the Harpers, until his wife was killed by a Red Wizard he had confronted on a mission. Accompanied by barbarian Holga Kilgore, Edgin attempted to make a new life for himself and his daughter Kira by turning to theft, forming a team with amateur sorcerer Simon Aumar and rogue Forge Fitzwilliam. One mission led to them infiltrating a former Harper stronghold to acquire a resurrection tablet that would have allowed Edgin to resurrect his wife, but a sudden betrayal leads to our heroes embarking on an adventure to save Kira and the city of Neverwinter.

Based on the classic Dungeons & Dragons role playing game, the story takes place in the land of Faerun and features many places and settings from the RPG.


Chris Pine
Michelle Rodriguez
Regé-Jean Page
Justice Smith
Sophia Lillis
Hugh Grant
Chloe Coleman
Daisy Head
posted by Fleebnork (63 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I saw the movie last night, and it was a rollicking good time! As a long-time player of D&D, I felt that it struck a great balance between being accessible to general audiences, while also not shying away from the real D&D nerd stuff.

The creatures and spells are straight from the game. The characters are archetypes that will be familiar classes to D&D fans. The setting features many familiar places directly from the game as well.

The movie is much more of an action comedy, which helps it not take itself too seriously. There are many easter eggs for D&D fans to pick up on, from the game as well as the classic 80s cartoon series.

Despite its comedic tone, the climax features a quite poignant moment with a sacrifice that is meaningful.

I am looking forward to the youtube videos combing through and picking out every easter egg.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:38 AM on March 31 [7 favorites]

I agree. They cleverly kept most of the esoterica in the background (literally; there's at least one cameo that D&D nerds should recognize) so that the non-initiates won't feel like they've missed something for not knowing who they are. For the latter, it's a fun adventure film that hits all the right tropes.

Another example: They never even say the words "gelatinous cube," which is probably a good choice. D&D nerds know what it is, and for everyone else they establish that it's a blob of acid that, if trapped within, you'd better get out in a hurry. 'Nuff said.

It also helps that the cast is obviously having a great time.
posted by Gelatin at 6:57 AM on March 31 [6 favorites]

(literally; there's at least one cameo that D&D nerds should recognize)

Wait - did they get the Gazebo for this?!
posted by Navelgazer at 7:14 AM on March 31 [30 favorites]

probably too much to hope for a head of vecna subplot
posted by logicpunk at 1:07 PM on March 31

Utterly charming and surprisingly earnest. Loved the reverse portal heist and the wild shape escape sequence. Everyone was generally smart and sensible. More of this please!
posted by adrianhon at 3:23 PM on March 31 [7 favorites]

Eh, as a film for 40s dads to take their 12-year-old daughters to it threaded the needle awkwardly at times. Could've been a lot worse, though, and I applaud the decision not to take a minute to portentously announce the name of every monster and spell. Owlbears are fun! And I did laugh a couple of times. "I do not traffic in colloquialisms."

Chris Pine is so...Chris Pine-y.
posted by praemunire at 10:38 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

In the arena scenes I clocked the kids from the original cartoon but who was the other party? LOTR?
posted by fiercekitten at 11:17 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]

Also: This is almost too obvious to put to writing, but any Brits watching Dungeons and Dragons will instantly recognise Hugh Grant as doing a killer Boris Johnson
posted by adrianhon at 8:50 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]

probably too much to hope for a head of vecna subplot

if this does well we might get some Vecna

anyway, the reviews are correct, this is a lot of fun! There is also some heart to it, I got a bit misty-eyed at the end. It feels like the writers really explored the toybox for ideas rather than pasting the brand over a generic fantasy movie, and even things that have been Done in fantasy movies felt fresh here, like the dragon attack.

I do think it suffers from being a bit predictable - the audience will work out long, long, long before the characters what the evil plan is, and honestly I feel like they probably should have put two and two together, but a fun joke does suggest that these aren't the brightest adventurers in the world.
posted by Merus at 3:53 AM on April 2 [6 favorites]

I (a long time D&D player) loved the film, as did my wife (who doesn't play at all.)
But will this be the thread where we get our nerd-rage on for events that didn't follow the rules? (E.g. I’m pretty sure Sofina captured both Holga AND Edgin in Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere (!) while battling Simon with a Bigby’ Hand, meaning she had 2 concentration spells at the same time? She also cast 2 9th level spells at the end, Meteor Storm and Time Stop.)
posted by Metro Gnome at 2:56 PM on April 2 [10 favorites]

i think you will find, that a wizard did it
posted by Sebmojo at 3:40 PM on April 2 [13 favorites]

it's a splendid movie, and I liked how the bard never actually did much bard stuff (there's even a fakeout when you're led to think he's entrancing some guards with his magical song but then it's the wizard...)

I liked how unashamed it was to swing for the big emotions, the action was great, the plot was tight, and overall it felt like a remastered version of one of those 80s fantasy movies we remember so fondly but were actually a bit crap.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:45 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]

But will this be the thread where we get our nerd-rage on for events that didn't follow the rules?

A friend I saw it with kept trying to make this conversation happen, and I'm like, listen, any table can write their own rules if they agree it makes the game better. The snake-wildshape out of the gelatinous cube wouldn't work Rules As Written but it's an extremely cool solution and I absolutely would let it work at my table; the Wild Shape chase oner isn't base rules valid either but it wouldn't be a cool chase sequence if you could only transform from a fly into a mouse and then that's it.
posted by Merus at 5:13 PM on April 2 [16 favorites]

I enjoyed this quite a bit but my usual complaint that most new movies are at least 20 minutes too long applies here.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 AM on April 3

I saw this at early screen a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. The trailers led me to expect something a lot more wise-ass than it actually turned out to be; as my wife put it, a lot of the emotional beats played as very genuine and I think the movie worked all the better for it. So...some laughs, some fun actions sequences, and it felt like the creators and the cast were trying to do right by the fans. And Michelle Rodriguez and Chris Pine were absolutely the reason it worked at all.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:26 PM on April 3 [5 favorites]

I saw this over the weekend (my first trip to the cinema in several years) and really enjoyed it. It is a great popcorn flick to see with a crowd - the audience laughed in the right places, gasped at the shocks, and were silent during the more emotional scenes.

Even my wife (not a D&D player) had fun, but this is a must see if you have any familiarity with role-playing games. So many little nods to the original game and the tone perfectly captures the ridiculousness that goes down in every campaign I have been a part of.
posted by AndrewStephens at 3:22 PM on April 3 [3 favorites]

I was impressed at how much adventure they managed to stuff in without it dragging or feeling repetitive. And they didn't overdo the fight scenes, which is so easy to do in this kind of movie and in D&D. It tied in nicely with Forgotten Realms lore, but I don't think foreknowledge was at all necessary.

I went into this skeptical and came out pretty thrilled. Lord knows I've seen enough extruded fantasy product movies to know it's not easy to make a good one.
posted by rikschell at 7:20 PM on April 3 [4 favorites]

I saw this with Miss13 (my dnd nerd) and Miss10 (reluctantly)- I enjoyed it and, weirdly, Miss10 enjoyed it a bunch more than Miss13. Some rules nerdery aside (concentration is a thing!) I thought it did a great job being enough-dnd without having required-reading.

Thoroughly enjoyed the clever use of magical items, which is my favourite type of player shenanigan.

I do wish they'd let the bard be more DND-bardlike - give the bloke some powers already. Everyone else got 'em!
posted by coriolisdave at 7:24 PM on April 3 [3 favorites]

Actually I thought it was pretty clever letting Ed be the bard by just using his charisma to buff everyone else. Yes, in 5e bards have the same damn spells as everybody else, but I feel like that would be tedious on screen. They did a good job at picking character classes that were easily distinguishable from each other and leaning into those differences. Although after that great sneak-and-chase scene, prospective druids are going to be "WTF? I can only wildshape twice before having to rest?"
posted by rikschell at 5:54 AM on April 4 [6 favorites]

Eh. I haven't played in a while but I never played D&D by strict book rules. We always had divergent house rules like for instance we never made magic users pick what spells they wanted to use for the day beforehand. You could pick from any you knew right at the time of casting.
posted by octothorpe at 6:01 AM on April 4 [5 favorites]

I only have a toe in the DnD world (I listen to a few actual plays and have played a few sessions before covid trashed our schedule and we never got back on track) but I was interested, and when I saw the good reviews I got excited. It was so much fun! It moved quickly, it was funny, I loved looking at everything and was really delighted by some of the character beats - the platonic Bard/Barbarian family circle was really sweet.

I admit to laughing a lot at the tubby dragon, and outright howled at the illusion spell going wrong because it surprised me so much.
posted by PussKillian at 8:36 AM on April 4 [5 favorites]

The thing about the illusion spell going wrong for me is a couple months ago I ran “Chris Pine with a lute” through Stable Diffusion and got some eerily similar results. At least once Simon started getting distracted.
posted by m@f at 10:40 AM on April 4

The illusion bit was genuinely unexpected (in a movie where not a lot was) and genuinely made me laugh.
posted by praemunire at 12:43 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]

I thought that this movie was way more fun than actually playing DnD, which seals the deal on me trying to play again in the foreseeable future. I know enough that I could enjoy the tropes and pick up on some of the rules-bending, and I saw it in a theater, so hearing other folks laugh at the jokes probably helped. I also understand bards better now.

This bodes well for future Hasbro productions, there are some obvious ways they could have screwed this up and they succeeded in listening to some nerds about the details AND making a romp of a movie.
posted by momus_window at 2:04 PM on April 4

RAW is an obstacle every table must overcome at some point. I really enjoyed the movie, it was fun, likeable characters, cohesive, didn't take itself too goofily, and looked great doing it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:04 AM on April 6

> Eh, as a film for 40s dads to take their 12-year-old daughters to it threaded the needle awkwardly at times.

I'm neither a dude nor a 12-year-old daughter and I had a great time. I'm a bit annoyed that you think it's a movie for dudes; there are plenty of us non-dudes who like such things.

Plus: Bechdel test! Bechdel test! Bechdel test!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:28 PM on April 6 [10 favorites]

I'm a bit annoyed that you think it's a movie for dudes; there are plenty of us non-dudes who like such things.

I'm a bit annoyed that you think I'm a dude, so I guess we're even?

I am no longer a merry innocent youth who cannot see how a Hollywood movie is reverse-engineered from an intended audience. I've spent my life enjoying movies for which I wasn't the intended audience, but that doesn't mean I'm going to kid myself about what the original pitch was.
posted by praemunire at 8:39 PM on April 6

praemunire, I actually agree that you're off base in assessing who the intended audience is for this. I mean...the audience for the game itself, today, is much less male-dominated and more diverse than it's ever been. I don't doubt that Paramount/Hasbro are counting on "the dudes" to show up, but they're counting on all the other players and the other segments of the audience to turn up as well, and nothing about the film or it's markeyting campaign suggests otherwise.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:33 AM on April 7

Of people who play the game Dungeons and Dragons, 40% are under 25, 39% female. I'm pretty sure a movie owned by Hasbro have done their market research. I thought it was interesting that there weren't any armor-bikinis or languid slave girls or similar tropes in the movie.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:56 AM on April 7 [14 favorites]

I'm a bit annoyed that you think I'm a dude, so I guess we're even?

Eh? I have no idea if you’re a dude. You said right there that it was a film made for dudes and I disagreed. I didn’t say anything about your personal level of dudeness.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:26 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]

I thought it was interesting that there weren't any armor-bikinis or languid slave girls or similar tropes in the movie.

I even noticed hairy armpits! Woo!
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:28 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]

Do all the showings now have a weird intro of the stars sitting around calling us “heroes” for going to the movies? While they don’t look at the camera? It was very odd.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:33 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]

Mine did. Very much a hostage video vibe.
posted by PussKillian at 11:41 AM on April 7 [7 favorites]

I don't know if they all did, but they did here. You are right that it was weird.

I thought it was interesting that there weren't any armor-bikinis or languid slave girls or similar tropes in the movie.

I'm really not trying to be mean-spirited about this movie, which I did not hate, though I didn't enjoy it as much as some of you did. When I was said it was made for 45-year-old dudes to take their tween daughters to, I meant the whole sentence. It's a family-friendly movie hoping to leverage nostalgia of an older generation to bring in a newer one. So you get chunks of rather simplistic family drama and PG action awkwardly specified not to hurt anyone and a deliciously anodyne male romantic guest star interlarded with some bits that could go much darker (or darkly comic), all wrapped in some vintage Gen-X snark. Being Gen-X, I would love to believe that the demographics of tabletop RPGs in our time, or even in the present day, were roughly reflective of the general population, but as an ex-DM myself, I know they weren't (and still quite aren't). Hence, dads. Does this make it a bad movie? No. Honestly it's nice to see that Hasbro thinks better gender and racial inclusiveness are the future. But it does mean it stood between two barrels.
posted by praemunire at 11:50 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

between two barrels

I roll to detect zachs.
posted by curious nu at 4:39 PM on April 7 [3 favorites]

My son and I both enjoyed it. I liked that they played up the comedy.
posted by drezdn at 4:46 PM on April 7

Just got back from this and I'll add to the chorus of people who liked it. Rather than playing it just silly or just seriously, they took the silliness seriously and gave it the right combination of stupid and smart that I wanted. I played a little D&D when I was a wee lurgi, but I don't remember much. This left me in the happy state of recognizing many of the jokes, but not being distracted by any of the deviations from the official rules.

The movie was long, but it didn't feel long to me. Looking back on it, I'm surprised how good the pacing was. The slowish bits that I can recall were in the first half. The second half zipped along like a well-oiled machine.

I'm worried about their ability to maintain this balancing act for the inevitable sequel.

And the pre-move "You guys are the heroes"? What the hell was that? I was expecting one of them to say "Wait, why are they heroic? They are going to the movies. That's not heroic", but instead it was just weird.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:24 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]

Piling on with yet another "yeah, this was good fun!"

The thing that makes this play like an actual campaign, IMO, is that they didn't even try for a consistent voice. There's elevated speech (which Rene-Jean was clearly enjoying the hell out of), there are moments that try for elevated speech but abjectly fail, there's plenty of snark, there are emotional moments and frustrated moments, there are pep talks, there's the occasional bit of (mercifully brief, good job, writers) infodump -- that is what playing D&D be like!

And yes, the DM for this adventure telegraphed some things rather too early, but also had one or two brilliant ideas (the thing with the painting in the vault! that's good DMing, that is).

Am I the only person who appreciates Hugh-Grant-the-smarmy-doublecrossing-bastard a lot more than they ever appreciated Hugh-Grant-the-supposed-heartthrob?
posted by humbug at 2:45 PM on April 8 [10 favorites]

I appreciate Hugh Grant; I'm not picky.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:14 PM on April 8 [8 favorites]

Holy cats y'all, this WAS fun. We used a gift card my husband got for this birthday to pay for our tickets and here are my thoughts:*

Pro: *Chris Pine continues to be the best of the Chrises through sheer nuclear charisma and a willingness to be both maudlin and goofy AF

*Michelle giving super MAH STRONG WIFE vibes here, Lil Nervous Wizard Guy adorable and Sophia Lallis is just so so fun. OWLBEAR 4 LYFE

* I came thisclose to being the cliche cartoon wolf whose heart slings itself from his chest when he sees the object of his desire, but damn, so that is Rege-Jean Page? Damn. Daaaaaamn. Daaamn.

* Also his character's whole vibe was yoga guru/martial arts teacher; he can get Zen but whip your ass, and honestly, I think he got some of the best comedic lines. But that might not have been intentional.

* I suspect we weren't supposed to laugh hysterically at the chubby dragon--his lil feeties go kicky like a chubby cat--sequence but I howled. The only bit better was the Chris Pine melting into a singing horror.

* I loved the whole graveyard sequence too; it reminded me of the first Hellboy movie!

* I am here for Hugh Grant's roguish charm into roguish smarm. He is a really really good fantasy villain!

* Yes, THAT is the actor you think it is playing Holga's ex. I was just as surprised as you

Cons: *Was there any way to shorten that beginning? It was a heavy exposition dump/flashback sequence that felt it went on too long

* I dunno, I didn't find Red Wizard lady too scary; the threat didn't gel with me

* I would like to stop fridging wives tho

...but that's about it? It was fun. And honestly, I'm more likely to go to a theatre for fun movies.

*Shepherd is a medium level D&D player so he performed the same function for me he does for comic book movies: answers my questions about stuff I don't understand (spells, creatures, etc)
posted by Kitteh at 6:13 PM on April 8 [6 favorites]

I enjoyed the heck out of this, while also agreeing that there were a couple of places where they could have trimmed just a little bit. It had humor, it had poignancy, it had action scenes that I could SEE OMG.

The action scenes! So many action scenes now are a pile of quick edits that make it nigh-impossible to understand what is going on. Or they're in pitch dark. Or both! In this film, I could see what was going on. And it looked like there were a fair amount of practical effects in it. (Holga's ex was definitely a practical effect.)

I also appreciated that this didn't have fourth-wall-breaching humor. I'm getting bored with that.

Hugh Grant plays the most delightful shitheels.
posted by rednikki at 7:19 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]

I don't know how they achieved it, but the movie was very easy on the eyes. In the age of mass market comic book CGI on one hand and photorealistic blah on the other, this is a high fantasy film that looked both distinct (genre-conventional without being generic) and pleasant. I'm going to chalk it up to competent color grading, in contrast to the MCU or fantasy shows from streaming services.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:23 AM on April 9 [11 favorites]

I suspect we weren't supposed to laugh hysterically at the chubby dragon--his lil feeties go kicky like a chubby cat--sequence but I howled.

I for one have absolutely zero doubt that we were supposed to find the big ol' chonker dragon chase very funny as well as thrilling.

Because, here's the thing: this movie does show you a classic dragon half an hour before, when they're using Speak With Dead to find the helm. Dragons don't usually get this chonky, especially not in Forgotten Realms, but there is one dragon that turns up in some minor materials (a campaign available for the current edition) that's too fat and greedy to move, who is providing an evil dwarf city with heat. They're planning on offing him, he bribes the heroes to find their replacement red dragon and kill it.

It is the same dragon - Xenk even says that the dragon must have moved his lair, because he's not in his city. But, like, at some point someone found out about this weirdly specific detail and put it in the movie - I'm guessing "fat dragon chase" was the seed and then Wizards of the Coast was like "oh we've got a chonky boi for you, here's where that could happen". I'd even guess the whole Underdark sequence was built because Themberchaud lives in the Underdark so they need to go to the Underdark, and while they're there they realised they can fit in the joke about the intellect devourers and just kind of assembled a whole sequence.
posted by Merus at 5:10 AM on April 10 [17 favorites]

lol the intellect devourers ignoring the party completely and one of them says "well that was hurtful."

I loved this movie, except for the (c'mon y'all seriously be better) sexual violence in jail joke at the beginning and the dead wife trope; delete the first entirely and use that screen time to make the wife an actual fully realized person so that the choice at the end has real emotional weight and it becomes a damn near perfect movie for me. Definitely buying the bluray; looking forward to whatever else these creators do with this universe. I didn't even notice the runtime.
posted by ZakDaddy at 7:59 PM on April 10 [9 favorites]

I very much enjoyed the obvious DM as Player insert character who is super great at everything and knows all the lore and everyone loves (Except the players, who universally don't).

Also the overwrought backstories felt very much like they were designed to be player backstories.
Even more so the sense that this is a second campaign after Hugh Grant couldn't make it anymore so they got the band back together except with a new Druid player. The DM pulling the classic move of turning an old players character into the villain.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:29 PM on April 12 [16 favorites]

I can’t find a screen grab (yet), but I’m 95% sure I saw a sharpened gourd in the animated credits and that just delighted me
posted by Cogito at 5:28 AM on April 13 [4 favorites]

The 40-something parent DMs brought two of our 12 year old players to the movie and it was probably a top-5 moviegoing experience for me, so if we were being marketed to, it friggin’ *worked*.

It felt exactly like a fun game with smart players having a blast getting their stupid characters into trouble. In-jokes from our game interleaved perfectly with stuff on screen (for example, the kids recently battled a giant hand that was a pancake and the kids squealed to see the same spell with two other flavors). Fortunately we had nobody near us because the kids could *not* stop whispering excitedly.

A small detail I loved: the early intro with the guy sent to jail looked like every other Marvel slog the kid has dragged me to lately; that they showed the big tough guy and immediately pivoted away from him to the knitter and the potato-eater set the tone for the rest of the movie perfectly. It was a joyful movie.

(I agree that the hero bit at the start was terrible, though.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 4:50 AM on April 15 [5 favorites]

Saw this last night with my partner. I've been a D&D guy since blue box Basic D&D in '77. She's played a few times, starting with 4e. We both *loved* this.

Sophia Lallis is just so so fun

Doric is our favorite character, with Holga right behind.

We were not expecting the emotionality of the end, nor the sacrifice Ed would have to make, but it was a perfect cap to a perfect campaign.
posted by hanov3r at 8:04 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]

After some nagging from my gaming group, I saw this yesterday. They had all loved (or at least strong liked) it, even the guy who mostly loves weird indie films and used to be on a film crew.

I had oddly mixed feelings. The part of me that loves action comedy thought it was pretty good. The part that likes fantasy wishes it wasn't D&D branded. And the part that likes games, well, also wishes it wasn't D&D branded.

The complaint that my gaming brain had--and this is totally my problem, not the movie's--is that I kept thinking "How would you run this fight/puzzle/heist in an RPG?" and I kept thinking the answer was to use just about anything but a d20 system. (Although Holga could be one of those weird 3.5/Pathfinder builds that's all improv weapons.) And the movie had all the same problems all DMs have once the party hits mid levels: "Please don't use wild shape to bypass my bridge puzzle!"

That found family trope and the decision at the end of the movie is so overdone in genre films and I totally buy into it emotionally every single fargin' time.
posted by mark k at 11:34 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]

Yes, they used a lot of practical effects, e.g. Jarnathan, dragon, transmute rock.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:03 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]

probably too much to hope for a head of vecna subplot

if this does well we might get some Vecna

I think Stranger Things has put in a prior claim on Vecna in the popular imagination. Same reason a theoretical sequel is unlikely to feature Demogorgon or mind flayers.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:23 PM on April 21

Fat dragon was a thing of beauty; equal parts hilarious and terrifying, and he made fat WORK for him, so it wasn't just a fat joke. He was fat AND awesome, and I love that he's actually canon!

I'd be all for a druid variant where you get no spells but you can wildshape as many times as you like AND into things like owlbears and tiny stuff. If any DM was fool enough to let me play such a thing I would break the game badly.
posted by The otter lady at 11:38 PM on April 21 [10 favorites]

This was super fun; a surprising amount of thought and care went into making it.

On the bike ride home, I realized that Hugh Grant's parole hearing story ("I realized It really all goes back to my mom...") was a call back to the bit where Holga calls him a son of a bitch and the paladin takes it literally: "Oh, so you think his behavior is a result of his family line?" or something close to that.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:51 AM on April 22 [11 favorites]

Surprisingly fine with some genuine laughs. As everyone has said.

The characters only really hummed when Xenk was with them. Otherwise, there was something off about the group vibe. Maybe it's just -- I don't like Chris Pine.

The music/sound seemed really awful somehow. Lacking punch at the right moments? Like whenever there is lute playing and singing it's just awful. The credits song at the end is terrible too.

I did like the final sacrifice, cheesy as it was they did it fine.
posted by fleacircus at 2:00 AM on May 24

Didn't like the fridging at the beginning. Did like the substantial presence of nonmale & nonwhite characters in the movie as a whole.

Didn't like the parts of the plot that made no sense (The paladin stored the helm in the Underdark for Stupid Reasons. Everyone forgets the druid can fly when broken bridges are a problem.) Did like the balance of action and humor, and the creative uses of magic and environment.

Did like the numerous D&D references, the occasional poking of fun at the rules (five questions seems... arbitrary), and the fact that they didn't feel the need to stick to RPG rules and logic when it would have interfered with the plot. Although Doric would have had to be at least 11th level to wildshape into both large and tiny animals anyway under 3.5 rules, so I don't know why you all are saying she couldn't have enough daily uses to -- OK wow I'm a nerd.

Anyway, overall, pretty good movie, lots of fun, better than a D&D movie really has a right to be.
posted by kyrademon at 5:53 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]

"But that doesn't explain the fact that she speaks Halfling for some reason despite obviously not being one" - an early analysis criticizing Holga's published stat block.

I think it's wonderful that they telegraphed That Reveal months before. It's like a little wink to the audience.
posted by Mogur at 3:10 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]

Wow I really enjoyed this a lot! Dragon was a lot of fun. I suspect that “chonky boi” status is basically what constitutes “wildly successful life” for a dragon, but also it did kind of create the vibe that they were fighting a giant dangerous corgi. Fun new take on an old clichéd convention, to be certain.

I like to think that the slow motion at the end was due to rolling a natural 20 on “I throw a potato”

There was a great post on Reddit I think, a little bit ago, about having accidentally watched the movie with descriptive audio on and thinking, “wow, really ambitious artistic decision to have the GM narrating the events, but it actually kind of works.” Already very tempted to rewatch with the GM’s narration myself.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:49 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

Mrs. Fedora is convinced that the one guy just walked in a straight line directly to his meeting with Hugh Grant
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:55 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

I think the best compliment I can give is, as a long-time DM, this film felt like D&D:
- One character has a deep, emotional backstory he keeps referencing, the others have much less high-stakes stories or barely anything.
- One character just disappears partway through the adventure for no apparent reason.
- DM ignoring the rules-as-written for cinematic effect/fun (yes, OK your Druid can Wild Shape into an owlbear, but you lose all your other nature-magic spells).
- Silly/fun plans that barely work (and definitely took 45 minutes of out-of-character discussion to come up with).
- Complicated puzzle that's side-stepped with a magic item the DM forgot the players had.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:56 PM on June 14 [6 favorites]

> "DM ignoring the rules-as-written for cinematic effect/fun (yes, OK your Druid can Wild Shape into an owlbear...)

Or they were playing 4e, where the owlbear is an explicitly allowed wildshape form. Or 3.0 and she had the Shifter prestige class. Or possibly -- OK I'll stop.
posted by kyrademon at 3:28 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]

Thought this was, you know, pretty okay and all, but at some point I started zoning out. Chris Pine is a perfectly decent and respectable fella, I suppose, and everyone and everything else in the movie seems perfectly pleasant too.

Just a nice theme park ride. Oh, here comes the water flume! Put up your hands!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:52 PM on June 17

I enjoyed this very much. My husband has just gotten interested in D&D and we watched it on Father's Day. It was just a funny, action packed, magic fest and I loved it. Holga and Doric were the best!
posted by ceejaytee at 8:38 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]

Finally caught it on streaming and absolutely had a blast, and that makes the fact that it opens with that prison sexual assault joke all the worse. Cut that out and I'd have no serious complaints.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:34 PM on August 29 [5 favorites]

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