Howdy people, it is review time again and today I’m going to be talking about Warcraft! Now I have to say my excitement for this film has been in the ‘cautiously optimistic’ department as the trailers were decent, but did not get me super hyped like other 2016 films that have come out so far, and with the mixed reception it’s gotten recently I really was worried. But since I saw it a few hours ago I can share my thoughts here with you lovely people. 🙂
So the story can be described as the following:
“The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home”
The story of Warcraft, when you strip away the spectacle and law, is a simple one. It is about two worlds colliding and two strong individuals on both sides trying to do their best to sort out the larger problem without too much chaos and bloodshed. This is a familiar tale, and for the most part it worked, but there were some issues. Firstly, Warcraft has the same issue that John Carter and Green Lantern had in the sense that this film has a lot of law and mythology to set up, and a lot of the time feeds you tons of information but there isn’t enough time to digest and understand it. And for me this lead to me forgetting certain character names and locations, and even though there was narration to explain some details, I felt like just a bit more exposition would have helped the narrative. Secondly the pacing was a little off, like I said before there’s a lot of info to take in, and it didn’t help that the film moved from scene to scene so quickly and didn’t give you enough time to settle into the world especially in the beginning, but then later on some moments went on a little too long. And finally some of the character motivations and arcs felt lacking in depth and needed a bit more meat to them in order for us to connect them. That being said, when the story worked there was a lot of interesting moments full of drama, tension and good world-building.
In terms of the cast they were good, but there were some that stood out more than others. Travis Fimmel did well as Sir Anduin Lothar, even though he didn’t differentiate himself much from what I’ve seen in Vikings. He was charming and very chilled out and was one of the most engaging human characters. Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar was initially kind of annoying and silly, but he eventually grew on me. Ben Foster played one of the more intriguing characters as Medivh and it was interesting to see how his arc played out in the film, while Dominic Cooper was valiant and strong as King Llane Wrynn, and Ruth Negga was good but underutilized as Lady Taria Wrynn. Paula Patton was fine as Garona, but I felt like she needed a bit more personality and development. Toby Kebbell did really well as Durotan, he had the strongest and most engaging arc in the film being courageous yet conflicted. Robert Kazinsky was also pretty good as Orgrim Doomhammer and Daniel Wu was pretty solid as Gul’dan.
When it comes to the presentation the film was solid. Visually it was nice, the CGI was handled well especially with the cinematic shots of the landscape and the detail in the shots orc models as well. Otherwise the visual effects varied between looking good to not bad with some dips in detail during some of the action sequences. And the film score by Ramin Djawadi certainly had its moments where it elevated the action on-screen, however it wasn’t as impactful as some of Djawadi’s previous material.
In conclusion Warcraft wasn’t bad, it was an interesting film with a great fantasy world, nice mythology and cool action sequences. However the characters and story weren’t nearly as engaging as I had hoped. I would have liked something in the vain of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for this film, and I know that LOTR was based on a very strong book series as opposed to the Warcraft game series, but with the right creative team you can make anything work, and this film was handled as well as it could have been with Duncan Jones at the helm, but the story material wasn’t strong enough.
So have you seen Warcraft and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀