Country of origin: USA/Canada/China
Release Date: June/10/2016
Director: Duncan Jones
Runtime: 123 minutes (PG-13)
Atlas Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, Blizzard Entertainment
So without ado, sans going into ponderous detail on how it is that both very (eerily) similar universes differ (I’d like to care but surprisingly it doesn’t bother me in the slightest though I will mention that WoW - World of Warcraft - is more slanted towards instant gratification as opposed to setting up a ‘battlefield’ after spending numerous hours painting miniatures compiling an army based on a points value. (Shut up Beavis I love to paint… you can’t paint fer shit Butthead hurhurhur.) I’ll just go ahead and jump straight into my various musings on the movie itself.
One thing the viewer will immediately notice about WarCraft is it’s in your face unrelenting assault of the senses, one that employs another mammoth horde (of not quite so green fellows I would imagine) that of CGI practitioners and a similarly sized FX team. I’m of the mind that practical effects in this instance wouldn’t have worked quite as well especially since the Orc populace is sprawling and huge I can only imagine the crowds of extras needed. Can you imagine the drain on the (rented) armory too as every damn creature sports at least one weapon and various kill accruements of one sort or another. Although with that in mind Garona (the half Orc hybrid played by Paula Patton) is decidedly more human in nature, boasts hog like fangs and a torso drenched in what appears to be merely muted green body paint?
The landscapes within the WoW world are breath taking, epic in scope, displayed whenever possible and bring to mind another recent take on a (legendary) fantasy realm courtesy of Peter Jackson and J.R Tolkien (Ring and Hobbit trilogy’s) also in part another of my personal favorites - a currently running uber popular serial heading towards an eighth season- Game of Thrones.
WarCraft runs with a great pace with hardly any breaks in the action and abides by a centuries old foundation cinematic rule in that there’s an entangled love story heaped in controversy within its storyline. Fear not however, as this isn’t a rehash of the Romeo and Juliet tale neither is it another Westside Story though it would be easy by many to assume so.
This same storyline is easy to follow, a plus for me as I didn’t get lost though easily do, and isn’t bogged down in various annoyances that come with excessive details that many authors within the same genre like to employ. To put it bluntly this is a movie that has a specific demographic and aimed to hit its bottom line by not adhering to a specific niche (though admittedly that niche is rather sizable by all accounts, if only one might be able to unglue them from their consoles and surrounding snack stockpiles).
Travis Fimmel, Lothar, portrays his character with a wicked grin plastered across his face the entire movie lending a darkly comedic edge which bodes well and only added to my overall enjoyment. Seriously, what better way to enjoy fantastical carnage than with a sense of humor, albeit dark.
In essence WarCraft was a damn site better than I assumed it was going to be and a fantastic waste of close to two hours. I have a few gripes however, at times I felt it was a tad ‘watered down’. I would have liked to see more of Preacher (AMC series) actors (Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga) more in the thick of things but I can only assume that they are secondary characters in the grand scheme of the story behind the guardian, the mage, Durotan (another of my favorites an Orc with a conscience whatever next?) and Lothar.
I can’t help but think that this was a tactic obviously to garner the more mass appeal rating of PG 13. All in all, though a small concern really seems as one has to consider that the movie has to support the franchise which is also roughly based around the same demographic.
I for one am eager to see what comes next in the WarCraft ‘franchise, if indeed it pans out to be a viable investment for those hoarding the green and the final decision. One can only hope this leads to more adaptions of printed works, my vote is for a movie adaption of Shannara (the MTV series wasn’t half shabby) or the Kingdom of Landover by Terry Brooks.
A well-executed movie that delivers in every way and vividly displays Blizzards love for the genre. Recommended for all those with an interest in fantasy themed cinematics and of course those with more than a slight interest in the WoW world.