Holy hell it was so much fun!
As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew this was one I wanted to catch; not because it looked good (it did), but because it looked like the kind of light, silly fun that I desperately needed right now. And I'm really happy to report that it was, in fact, the light, silly fun that I desperately needed right now.
It was funny, heartfelt, full of awesome action, and a number of references for the true geeks of the tabletop roleplaying game. In fact, it was so funny, it would happily fit under the 'action comedy' title, and as such, joins Hot Fuzz as one of my favourite comedies. Shout-out to the world's fattest dragon.
For a while there, it honestly felt like most writers of the genre felt that dumb and funny were synonymous, and every comedy out there was nothing but a running litany of stupidity. I don't find stupidity funny. I don't think people being idiots is particularly amusing. I'm so, so glad that this film wasn't that. I was quite worried that it would be. Thank you to the writers for not going down that road.
There's more that I really love about this film. For starters, the two main folks of our loveable group of thieves are fast friends, who love each other deeply, and even raised a child together. But they were not romantically involved. They were friends. They remained friends. It was friendship that kept them together. I honestly don't feel like we have enough of that in our media. Everybody seems to place romance on a pedestal, as if that's the best (or even only) way for two people - particularly of the opposite sex - to interact. It's always so refreshing to find examples of something other than that.
While there is plenty of action in this film, a special mention must be made of the incredible sword choreography between Rége-Jean Page's character, Xenk Yendar, and Dralas, played by Jason Wong. It was fast, clever, and very beautifully performed. It legitimately froze me to my chair. It was just. so. good.
I would go back to watch the movie for that fight alone.
Sort of redundant to say, really, as I have every intention of heading back to the cinema to watch the movie again. It was just fun, and good, and really funny.
Most importantly for me, I feel, is that is is also, in it's updated way, a heartfelt love letter to the films of the 80s and 90s that I grew up with - the films that didn't care about snobbish ridicule; as if the exercising of imagination ought to be looked down on. This touches on those films that were as responsible for turning me into a writer as were the brilliant books I devoured. This was a nod to Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Willow, Lady Hawke (which I maintain still has an excellent premise and if any movie ought to be remade it should be that one). These unironic celebrations of story, and imagination, and joy shaped who I am and formed my imagination, and Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is a return to form.
Go see it. You'll thank me later.