Overachieves in almost every way.


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.


PINE & RODRIGUEZ- Amidst the many overachieving aspects of this film, the one thing that it gets absolutely on the nose is the casting of its two leads. One would get the impression from seeing this film that Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez have been friends for decades before teaming up for this movie, given how impeccable their chemistry is. They perfectly balance each other out, Chris pine being the snarky kind of debaggy, ruggedly handsome fella that he portrayed himself to be as Captain Kirk all those years ago, and Rodriguez being the strong, stoic badass that she’s been in pretty much every single movie that she’s ever done.

It helps that Pine is funnier in this film than perhaps he’s ever been, and Rodriguez proves here (even more so than in the fast and furious films, in my opinion) that she is the perfect female action star type that we’ve always had and never really fully appreciated. The first act of this film is completely hinging on this chemistry before we get introduced to the rest of the characters. Brilliant casting here.

Comedy– This movie is, first and foremost, a comedy before it is anything else. Every scenario that the characters find themselves in is both ludicrous and comedic in presentation. The characters interact with each other so naturally, when it comes to the comedy side of things, no matter the situation, that one can’t help but to believe that a lot of the dialogue was ad-libbed. This is a film where the dialogue keeps you amused throughout. Movies with these kind of budgets that are marketed in this sort of way really don’t do that these days, and when they try to, it’s not as funny as this is.

RESPECTING THE SHTICK- Another element as to why the comedy works so well is because this movie has indeed cast a lot of actors who’ve worked long enough for us to know each of their idiosyncratic… shticks. (for lack of a better word)

I’ve already gone into detail about Pine and Rodriguez and what they’ve brought to many films up until this point. But there’s also Hugh Grant, whose quickly delivered and sort of neurotic kind of delivery has come to define a lot of the work that he’s done. There’s Justice Smith, who has been around enough to notice the particular geekiness in the characters that he portrays in the really big films he’s been in (Jurassic World: Fallen kingdom, Detective Pikachu), and there’s also Rege-Jean Page, who very much embodies the pretty boy, Prince Charming kind of swag that he brought to bridgerton and the Netflix movie The gray man from last year.

All of these familiar idiosyncrasies are turned all the way up to 10 in an appropriately ridiculous way. And this is the perfect kind of movie for that to happen.

THAT CAMEO- There’s a big-time movie star that makes a very important cameo in this film. Of course, I won’t say who that is, but the scene that this person is in is pretty nice and adds importance to the story. This person isn’t there simply for shock value or to make you laugh. I really don’t like when movies do that just to do it. And they don’t do that here.


CGI- I really try not to be a stickler for computer-generated effects when it comes to tentpole-type films. I do understand that these effects crews are very overworked and underappreciated. I also don’t consider myself well-versed when it comes to critiquing CGI work. It very much isn’t my field of expertise.

I say this because even when I can notice that some of the CGI is hit or miss, then it really means that it’s hit or miss. A lot of the environmental CGI looks fantastic. The finale, which is set in a Roman style colosseum, looks great. However, whenever there is a creature that has a close-up, the animation does look out of place. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I’ve seen better CGI in these instances with movies that were from the 2000s, more or less the 2010s.

THE CAVE SEQUENCE- Not to say that the cave sequence is unnecessary, or even poorly done for that matter. It just isn’t as clever as quite literally every other set piece in this film. This is the one section of the film that you’ve seen in 20 other medieval-based kinds of movies and is one of those things that may have just bothered me that might not bother anybody else, but I’m just being honest here.


THE RED WIZARDS- It’s not spoiling anything to state that the red wizards are indeed the main villains of this film. (The two trailers that exist and the TV spots flat out tell you that that’s the case) This movie can very much be considered an origin story; with origin stories, the heroes are the focus, and I understand that.

However, the red wizards are not characters, they are simply something to be overcome, and they have way too many scenes where they are talking. The bathroom breaks that you can take during this movie involve when any one of them says more than one sentence. They are very boring villains with very boring performances, seemingly by design.


Believe it or not, there’s a dungeons and dragons film trilogy that’s been in existence for almost 20 years. It consists of the horrendous and way too serious theatrical release from the year 2000, a made-for-TV film that followed it for some reason, and a direct DVD movie. I’ve seen two of these. I do not suggest that you go and see them to research anything from this movie. You do not need to have played the game or know anything whatsoever about dungeons & dragons at all to enjoy this or to follow this.

In fact, I strongly advise not to research anything at all. Go in with low expectations, and you’ll come out very pleasantly surprised. There have been way too many movies with this kind of material that try to do their best Lord of the rings impression. This is kind of the antithesis of that, all the while being very fun, very clever, and shockingly well done.


Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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