Warcraft

by | Jun 15, 2016 | 0 comments

A (Finally) Notable Video Game Adaptation that Does Well to Imitate Lord of the Rings

Finally. As I have said in previous reviews, film adaptations of video games have never quite proven successful, and I had almost given up hope, when suddenly Warcraft came to the rescue. Now I have to warn you that Warcraft isn’t a great movie, but it certainly improves on previous video game movie and exceeded my expectations in terms of narrative. 

Warcraft is adapted from the military strategy game where you battle other players with orcs, humans, dwarves, etc. The film’s story centers on the orcs and the humans. The orc world is dying, becoming barren and looking more and more like Mad Max: Fury Road. There is an orc mage named Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) who has opened a portal to the human world through which the orcs have poured into. Gul’dan’s plan is to guarantee the orcs’ survival by taking the human world, and establish their dominance with war. However, there is one orc chieftain named Durotan (Toby Kebbell) who doesn’t trust Gul’dan’s plan and thinks that the orcs could perhaps form an alliance with the humans. On the human side we have the noble warrior and commander Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) who is put in charge of defending the human world by his king, Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper). The humans are also aided by a mage called Medivh (Ben Foster), who also seems to be a bit untrustworthy in his tactics.

The first thing that you notice when watching this film is that CGI has truly become an art form; all of the orcs are rendered by visual effects to such detail that you can see every pore of the orcs’ skin as well as their body hair and dreadlocks. I normally don’t like wholly CGI characters because I feel that it takes away from the actors’ performance; however the orcs in this film are more expressive and emotionally ranged than any of the humans. 

And then there’s the story. I was quite impressed with how well the writers managed the immensity of their world and lore; I do have to say, however, that they unfortunately try to cram a bit too much into one film, but nevertheless they seemed to have worked really hard to make a logical and coherent story. But while the script was entertaining, you can’t help but see a lot of imitation to other fantasy films like The Lord of the Rings and the TV series Game of Thrones. Warcraft does take the good aspects when imitating these works, but you feel like you’ve already seen this before, and thus you take nothing original from this film.

As for the characters, I really enjoyed how well Durotan was written; he was easily the most likeable character on screen. I also enjoyed the story of Garona who is half-orc half-human (played by Paula Patton); it was interesting to see her indecision between the two species, but I feel like it wasn’t explored enough. Nevertheless the film does leave the ending open for a sequel, which will hopefully explore her story more. As for the humans, I feel that the writers maybe were too busy humanizing their fantastical creatures that they completely forgot about them. I was extremely bored with their character arcs and couldn’t really bother to remember their names or stories.

And I have to mention that there was one slight technical aspect that really bothered me which was the sound. The orcs, as well as they are made visually, had a very muffled voice. This made it extremely difficult to understand what they were saying, and it was hard to then remember who was who, and what they were doing. I can see that the sound editors wanted to give the orcs a distinct voice that matched their physical structure, but it was sad to see half of the orcish dialogue lost in grunting.

The film is extremely long, and it makes it very hard to hold your pee, but nevertheless I have to say that I was impressed. Warcraft doesn’t bring anything new to its genre, but it does an adequate job of imitating previous films. 

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 69% 69%

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What is your favorite video-game movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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