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True to the spirit of the game

Our ragtag party of earnest heroes fall prey to yet another of Forge’s schemes. You know they’ll get out, but how?

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is a fresh, new Dungeons and Dragons movie based on the extremely popular fantasy role-playing game. Designed by the now-late Gary Gygax and David Arneson, it was first published in 1974. It became a hit in the '80s and got stereotyped as a pastime for nerds and outcasts.

Netflix's “Stranger Things” brought back happy memories of the game, as well as the not-so-happy “Satanic Panic” it was part of. Today, an estimated 50 million people have played the game, including Jon Favreau, Anderson Cooper, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Deborah Ann Woll, Tom Morello, and probably the closest one they have to a celebrity ambassador, Joe Manganiello. Pre-pandemic, I often went to sleep to the sounds of friends outside my room, acting, laughing, and passionately engrossed in their D&D campaign. It's one of my most treasured sounds ever. This game is a beloved institution. When I saw the trailer for the movie, I was laughing. The game was inspired by high and often serious fantasy, but when you hear people play, they are being creative, having fun and bonding. That's probably why it is so enduring. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves captures the game's spirit, making it an enjoyable ride (though I felt the running time of two hours and 14 minutes was a bit too long). Our party for this adventure starts off with Edgin (Chris Pine), a bard, and his trusted ally, Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), a barbarian. After realizing a former member of their party, a con man named Forge (Hugh Grant), has not only revealed his true sinisterly greedy, duplicitous nature, but he also has Edgin's daughter, Kira. Edgin and Holga's task ahead needs more skill sets. Enter Simon (Justice Smith—no relation to Will), a sorcerer trying to gain his footing and Doric (Sophia Lillis), a Tiefling druid who distrusts humans. For a chapter, they will seek the aid of the smoothest lawful good paladin you will find, Xenk (Regé Jean Page).

Players will get to see and hear of artifacts, creatures, and places like Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter and Underdark. There's also one particularly funny dragon, and you'll find yourself cheering on an owl bear.

It's nice to see a fantasy property both be true to itself and not take itself too seriously. Did you hear that “Rings of Power?” Non-players, you'll be fine.

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will have a tavern experience at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall on March 25 and 26. There will be displays and apparently space for tabletop gaming.

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