The new D&D film, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, shocked audiences with its fresh and unorthodox approach to the lore of Dungeons and Dragons. With strong acting, solid character development and in-depth world building, the movie did not disappoint.
The film features a male-prominent cast but focuses most of the attention on the female party member Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), making the movie seem like a coming-of-age story for the female character.
With a plethora of experience placed on Diana, the movie shows her journey from a young and ignorant girl to a mature and capable warrior who is able to hold her own in a fight. During the movie, her ideals are questioned and challenged, and she is forced to grow from a rigid outlook to an accepting and flexible perspective on the world. Having a female character as the main lead creats a different narrative while still keeping the essence of the franchise alive.
The characters themselves add to the movie and allow for the main character to thrive. The male lead, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), in particular is who allows Diana to leave her home and begin her journey. He acts as a guide for her when she enters an unfamiliar world, and he even helps her to learn the importance of morality. Other side characters are used to highlight Diana’s other traits, including her compassion, intelligence and her sense of fairness.
The villains of the movie demonstrate many themes. A scientist embodies the dangers of advanced technology and how it can be twisted in order to harm others.
The “main” villain showcases how some villains are just middlemen and are being manipulated by a greater evil. This does not excuse the acts of the middlemen, but it illustrates how there can be a greater mastermind working behind the scenes. The acts of the side antagonists help set the tone of the movie and with world building.
The main villain, Ares, on the other hand, makes Diana question her knowledge. He exposes the lies Diana grew up on and then explains the truth, which prompts her to use the power within herself. All of these aspects create a compelling narrative and climax for the movie.
The setting also poses challenges for Diana. While the movie’s set is Greek-inspired in the beginning, in the second half, the setting shifts to be more modern and European-like. The drastic change between these two settings serves to shock Diana and makes her question everything she knows.
For most of her life, Diana has only known her Greek island life, as the island has been trapped in the time of the Greek Empire. Meanwhile, as evidenced by the introduction of guns and steam-powered boats, the world outside of the island has sped ahead. All of these changes create a slight difference from the expected setting portrayed in the trailers, but it is an understandable change.
From start to finish, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a tale about growth and realizing the hidden potential within oneself. It speaks of how not all villains can easily be seen and how the greatest threat of all could have just been a puppet all along.
Just as villains are not always what they seem, neither are the heroes who rise to fight them. They may just be humans doing what they can to make a difference, or they could be fulfilling their destiny and becoming who they were meant to be.