Review: Orcs Put the WoW in ‘Warcraft’
It is finally upon us. ‘Warcraft’ is here!…If only the humans were as excited
I’ve been away for so long. But now that I am back I feel like it will consume me. While That statement could very much be about writing for the illustrious Fad, it’s even more relevant to “Warcraft.”
Today “Warcraft” is out and nerdgasms can be heard and felt throughout the land. This movie has been looooooong anticipated. For nearly 11 years there’s been rumors and speculation and it is finally…. FINALLY here. Blizzard, the company that publishes the game, always does a great job with their cinematic trailers so the hope is/was that the same energy and awesomeness found in those would translate to the big screen. But before we dive in to whether they accomplished that or not lets get a little back story for the uninitiated.
The “Warcraft” history is long and varied and convoluted and a whole bunch of other adjectives. And that is just the “Warcraft” history not even touch on the much more expansive “World of Warcraft” which has and entire corner of the internet dedicated to its lore. The story revolves around Orcs and Humans. With their homeworld Draenor dying the Orcs venture through a portal to Azeroth. As the orcs are a conquering bunch they set out slaughtering humans and thus beginning a war that last for ages.
With a history like this you would think the movie would be equally as epic right? I mean its gotta be right?!?! Wellllllll….
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 4
First off this movie is meant to be seen in IMAX 3D. I don’t really advocate for this but Ducan Jones (director) did an amazing job of taking people into the world (of “Warcraft”). All the locations that gamers are familiar with are there and brought to life just as you would expect and hope them to be. The angles lend themselves to 3D and the orcs and other non human elements are really amazing in an outstanding way. It’s really out of this world (of “Warcraft”). The score is wonderful and hits the exact right tone for this film. The beauty of the cinematography cannot be overstated here. It really is a stunning movie to watch. Which is good because…
The acting leaves so much to be desired. This is coming from someone that wanted whole heartedly to like this movie without any “if onlys” to speak of. The motion capture performances were great and really gave the orcs a human element. Which is more than I can say for the actual humans. They just seemed to be very reserved.
Travis Fimmel was pretty good as Lothar but most of the rest of the cast kind of delivers a blah performance. If I had to guess I would say that they either were uninterested or confused about what was going on during filming because their level of emotion doesn’t match that of the orcs. Paula Patton had so much potential to do great as Garona but I think the Halloween party store fangs threw her off her game. Ben Foster’s Medivh was on the right track but King Llane (Dominic Cooper) seemed to be sleepy throughout most of the affair. Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) seemed out of place which is not helpful when you are the piece that ties most of this film together. Maybe I am a little sensitive to the fact that as a mage he was kind of bitchy… errr wimpy I guess you would say. Whatever the case I am going to need my Mages to man up a bit more in the next installment.
This is a film definitely set up to have sequels so the hope is that they will find their footing in the next one but for Petes sake, an invading army of giant beasts are ravaging and threatening to take over your home world, burning your homes and stealing your souls along the way, act like you give a damn!!! Geez.
With all of that said, the immersive nature of the world (of Warcraft) is enough to warrant a full fiver. While the acting leaves a bit to be desired everything else about the film is so good it only knocks it down a peg.
Entertainment Value – 3
“Warcraft” starts out fun and then sprinkles fun throughout but it is so hard to get through the human element that it drains you like a Warlock casting a level 100 soul steal (Which by the way looks amazing in this film). The visuals make this film really a thing of beauty. I would say that you go see it for that alone. And if you really want to enjoy it go spend 100 – 200 hours playing “WoW” then go watch it. You will enjoy it so much more. If you are coming in without any of the background you may set yourself up to be confused as things happen at breakneck speed. The pacing is another issue that hurts the film. So much to do so much to see. It’s like they wanted to cram it all into the first movie. I think this entry would have been better served as a 3 part trilogy. But as a tent pole film it accomplishes a lot. Will you be entertained? Yes I think so, but you will have to endure some cringeworthy line delivery and swift scene transitions. It’s worth it but be prepared.
Rewatchability – 3
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. In fact I really like it for what it is. A movie to set up a franchise that will have tons of spin offs and sequels. It mostly accomplishes that task. However for non-fans it may be a bit much to bear. The special effects and motion capture performances are enough to take a second look. In fact I found myself doing so and had a new respect for the film on second viewing. The issues still remained but I could pick out the nuances on the second time around.
(My Re-watch–ability chart
0=Pretend I never saw it and have no desire to
1=Never watching again
2=Would probably sit through if it popped up on HBO or FX
3=Would DVR it and watch again or recommend to watch with a friend
4=wouldn’t mind killing time to see it in the theater again. In fact I would like to do that
5=I am going to see this in the theater again, maybe twice more as well as stop what I am doing and watch every time it is on TV.)
Blu-Ray/4K UHD Extras
Arguably the best aspect of this film is the visuals. With the evolution of television technology and an increase in the number of pixels with 4K UHD, this gives “Warcraft” an edge for home viewing. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, the visual appeal of this 4K version of the film may be a selling point.
- Entertainment Value
"Warcraft" was highly anticipated and while some of the film left much to be desired I think it accomplished one major thing. It didn’t screw it up so badly that we won’t get a sequel. The motion caption performances are Oscar worthy (they are doing that now right?). The cinematography is equally amazing and the score pretty epic. If you haven’t played the game I would still say see it. And if you have played the game you shouldn’t even question it. Just /accept. If you meter expectations it’s the best movie in the World (of "Warcraft").
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