Director: Duncan Jones
Writers: Charles Levitt, Duncan Jones
Cast: Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, Callum Keith Rennie, Burkely Duffield, Dean Redman, Ryan Robbins
Synopsis: As an Orc horde invades the planet Azeroth using a magic portal, a few human heroes and dissenting Orcs must attempt to stop the true evil behind this war.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG - 13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence
5.4 / 10
- Great visual effects
- 3-D images were great.
- The various camera shots were great to help you get the broad scope of this world
- Acting was decent
- Unique character designs and art direction
- Too much exposition
- Poor characterization
- Weak script
- Fight scenes were a bit underwhelming
And another one bites the dust....
With so many video game based movies coming out these days, you'd think one of them would've been great. Sadly, I'm still waiting. "Warcraft" might be based on arguably the most popular world renown mmorpg (short for massive multiplayer online role playing game) to date, but the movie is a piece of s**t.
The story takes place in a fictional world, where humans, elves and dwarfs live side by side. But as luck would have it, a mysterious portal opens that allows Orcs to enter into their world. Humanity is forced to fight for their lives, as the Orcs seek to destroy them as they try to claim their world as their own.
Alliances are forged. People are betrayed, while sacrifices are dealt. All's fair in love and war right? To be honest with my readers, I've never played "World of Warcraft" before, nor do I intend to. However, the main problem with this movie is the fact that it feels more like an exposition to the real story that the moviegoer never sees. Like the various short stories in the animated adult cult classic, "Heavy Metal", it has a nice setup for what could've been an engaging story, but it ends immediately before we can even see it transpire. The entire film is nothing but exposition and setup.
A demon influences the guardian to allow Orcs into the human realm, but it's never stated why. From doing research into this online, it seems an evil demon by the name of Sargeras is behind all of this, as he wants to scour all life on Azeroth.
From what I can gather from my research, it seems like the movie follows the game's story line fairly closely. However, a lot of details are left out if you've never played the game. Little things like who the hell Sargeras is, or even why he wants to manipulate the guardian into opening up a portal for the orcs to pass through. And here lies the main problem that I have with this movie.
As my former mentor from afar, Roger Ebert, used to say. A good film should NOT require you to do any extra research into understanding what the hell is going on in the film itself. I shouldn't have to play the game to understand the movie, nor should there have been a reason for me to google this information to begin with. A great adaptation should always be a solid self contained story that still stays true to the key essential elements of the original, while still being sensible enough for new audiences to understand.
I never read any of the "Harry Potter" books, nor did I ever read any of the "Lord of the Rings" novels either. But you want to know something? I understood those films just fine because the stories themselves didn't rely on the notion of me having to read the damn books just follow what's going on. And even though I never read the short story of "Shawshank Redemption", it still remains one of my all time favorite films.
The point is that when you make a film adaptation (regardless if it's based on a book, game and etc), everything should be explained from the "who? what? where? when? and why?" But here? The movie never mentions Sargeras' name, or even his motivations, after he's revealed to be the mastermind behind the war between the Orcs and humans. Nope, it relies on you to play the game to find out, which is a bad way to tell a story because there's no guarantee that anyone will play the game, after watching this movie.
Sure, the special effects are nice, and the battle scenes are interesting. However, the other problem that i have here is that for an epic action piece that promotes itself to be on par with "Lord of the Rings" with it's trailers, it's amazing how incredibly underwhelming this entire film is. Throughout most of the movie, it's literally nothing but exposition. Sure, you get a few nice action scenes here and there, but that's basically it. And because most of the time you see these characters always just talking and/or hanging out most of the time, the story feels bogged down like you're watching a three hour snore fest rather than a two hour action fantasy film, which is what "Warcraft" was allegedly supposed to be.
I guess at the end of the day. Part of the reason Hollywood can't seem to make a great video game based film these days has a lot to do with the fact that it can't recreate that individual personal experience that gamers get from the games themselves. Unlike a novel where you're directly following a linear narrative laid out by the author, a video game is more personable to people. It has more of a unique experience to each and every player. For a game like "Warcraft", you might have some users spending most of their time doing various side quests, or interacting with other users. Or, you might have some that simply follow the main story line of the game itself. Each player goes about playing a game differently, which is why it's hard for a video game movie to be successful these days.
"Warcraft" tries it's best to stay true to the story, while still maintaining the interactive experience between gamers, by having these Orcs and humans talk a lot among themselves, but it feels tedious and boring because most of them don't have any distinct personalities; apart from a few Orc characters.
Overall, I wouldn't bother seeing this movie unless you're a huge fan of the game series. Sure, it has some nice visuals, and the art direction was fairly decent.
But with a weak script and poor characterization, "Warcraft" is just another mediocre video game adaptation that somehow got a budget.
© 2016 Steven Escareno
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