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Movie Review: D&D/HAT May 20, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

Watched Dungeons and Dragons – Honor Among Thieves last night, after seeing the high ratings at Rotten Tomatoes and hearing a glowing recommendation from my daughter. I’m always up for a good action comedy, and especially psyched for a fantasy action comedy.

Sadly, the movie didn’t really live up to my high expectations. Not a terrible movie by any means, but not deserving of the 90%+ ratings at Rotten Tomatoes.

My specific criticisms:

Chris Pine as Edgin: Chris Pine is fine on his own, but I swear that for the first half of the movie his lines sounded like Kurt Russell as Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China). I loved Jack Burton, but he doesn’t fit in well, or at all, with a medieval fantasy setting. His character is also a bit wimpy for an action movie.

Michelle Rodriguez as Holga: Michelle Rodriguez is convincing, physically, as a barbarian fighter who kicks butt (one of the few female actors who can pull off a role like that). But she makes no attempt to provide an accent or change the cadence of her speech, so she, too, seems out of place in a fantasy movie. Just an American woman delivering lines in a fantasy movie.

Hugh Grant as Forge Fitzwilliam: I liked his performance. I thought he walked the line between likeability and amorality pretty well. Of course, unlike Pine or Rodriguez he has the advantage of a native English accent, which is a mainstay of fantasy movies. Note to American actors in fantasy movies: There’s a reason everybody does those fake English accents at Renaissance Faires.

Action: Holga’s fight scene against the guards was great, though spoiled a bit by the camera work. Xenk’s fight scene was OK. Everything else was forgettable. A-

Comedy: A little tired, with a lot of under the breath punch lines which lost impact due to timing or volume. But OK overall. B+

Plot: Linear, predictable, no surprises, no twists. C

Dialog: The dramatic dialog was banal. C

Overall, I give it 7/10. Which is pretty good considering the cinematic offerings these days.



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