I have to admit, my expectations were not high for this film. It’s been in production for a long time – seems like a REALLY long time. I played the Blizzard computer game for some time back in the day, but never got into World of Warcraft because I had already invested some time in EverCrack- uh, EverQuest, and knew that I just couldn’t afford to spend more time in an online MMRPG. Uh, that’s “Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game”, for those not in the know. Dare I assume that our readers are all well-versed in such nerdery? 😉
Those that invested any significant amount of time in Warcraft seem to be more into this film. I, for one, must admit that, though it was somewhat entertaining, and showed some impressive technological improvements in CG rendering, especially the facial aspects, overall I just wasn’t blown away by it.
In the peaceful world of Azeroth, humans have been flourishing. What a fine and prosperous kingdom. Then one day, a horde of war-driven Orcs show up through a big portal from whatever dimension world they come from, led by their Orc warlock who has been consumed by the Evil magics he has begun to wield (The Fell). They happen to be sourced from some demon, so things go awry pretty quick. They invade this human world and intend to conquer the humans and stake claim.
The Orc Chieftain, Durotan, sees the danger of his Orc warlock, Gul’dan, and knows that even his own people will suffer if he isn’t stopped. So Durotan seeks to form an alliance with the humans in order to save them all. Seems like a win-win, yes? Well, it gets complicated.
And maybe that’s a part of the problem – for non-fans or players of the game, Warcraft. Those in the know will likely have more of a connection here, and follow along without much to question. But those that have never played the game or have any previous knowledge of Warcraft will perhaps be a bit lost or have more trouble accepting events without questioning any of it.
That being said, the action is great and the CG effects are among the best on screen for integrating with live action, in particular the ability to make even the faces of the Orcs seem life like- more natural than any facial CG capture before this – with the possible exception of the new Planet of the Apes series. But the Orc faces are more human than the ape faces, so this kind of trumps that.
My main problem stems from the fact that the personal stories seem a bit thin. They’re a bit trite, and and we don’t get to dig deep enough into some characters.
They do manage, later on, to offer a couple of interesting surprises that leads us to a conclusion that very much says “Chapter One”. If Warcraft makes a profit from its’ original $ 160 million budget, you can be sure this story will continue.
Directed by the talented Duncan Jones, there’s no question that Warcraft solidly made, I just felt like there was not a lot of deep concern until late in the film. But I suppose if you’re going to make an emotional connection with your audience, better to make it later rather than earlier, and then lose it half way through.
I’d say three, maybe slightly more, kittenhands, for Warcraft, mostly because I went in with such low expectations. But based on all the time, marketing, and money spent, I think it should have been way better. sTill a disappointment for a summer movie.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, still waiting for something to be better than Captain America: Civil War. Will Independence Day: Resurgence be the sleeper, guilty pleasure of the summer? I hope so!