Warcraft stars, Travis Fimmel (Vikings, The Baytown Outlaws), Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Deja Vu) Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, The Mechanic), Dominic Cooper (Preacher, Captain America: The First Avenger) and is directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code).
An Orc army is leaving their world and invading the human planet Azeroth, in hope to kill and conquer the humans. To save their lives, humans must unite with rogue Orcs to stop the evil and bring peace to both races. At least I think that’s what was happening.
I’ve never played Warcraft but as a lover of video games and someone who wants to see video game films, I wanted to love this film. However I knew from the trailers this wasn’t going to be something I would enjoy. So I held off seeing Warcraft until now and I was right. This wasn’t the worst film of the year but I can’t say it was good. There were aspects I liked but overall, it fell flat.
The CGI I’m going to get to later but first I have to start with the action. The fight scenes are really well done. They’re slick, bone-crushing and a lot of fun. There’s a fight in a forest early on in the film and that was the first time I got invested in the story because you felt anger and passion when the humans and Orcs fought. The story Warcraft told through action scenes, worked, I can’t say the same for the script though.
The characters I found to be 50/50. I liked the lead human, Lothar played by Travis Fimmel and the female Orc played by Paula Patton. I’m not too familiar with either of them but I thought they did a good job portraying their roles, I especially liked Patton and want to see her in more. The main Orc hero, Durotan played by Toby Kebbell is wonderful and he’s by far the standout character. As for the rest, I didn’t like any of them.
The villains are underdeveloped but more importantly they wasted really strong actors. Both Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper are in this film and I didn’t care. I don’t know if they were misscasted or just not given enough to do but neither of them shined. Dominic Cooper is a charismatic, charming actor but as the human king in this, he was bland and showed zero personality. Foster just didn’t fit the wise, old mage character he was cast as. It was like if Sean Astin was cast as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, it just felt weird. By far the worst was the younger mage, running around like he was in the cheesy BBC show Merlin.
Not only did I not like most of the characters but the two I did like, they threw into a romance story that seemed as though half their scenes were cut. They had about two conversation and then randomly start kissing. It wasn’t a case of the two actors not having romantic chemistry, they just didn’t have enough screen time together.
The big praise people seem to be giving Warcraft, the CGI, I didn’t like. It looked good in spots, the fighting scenes were beautiful but most of the time I never felt like I was watching anything real. The green screen was bad and some moments with the Orcs were laughable. I still think Peter Jackson’s original trilogy, Lord of the Rings gave us the best possible Orcs because they were real. They looked dirty, smelly and scary. The Orcs in the Hobbit trilogy and in Warcraft look like they bath everyday and the makeup department touches up their makeup between takes.
The big problem is as a non-Warcraft player, many times during this film I was confused. It was like starting The Lord of the Rings with The Two Towers or jumping into Game of Thrones in season 4. It’s obvious the lore and story to Warcraft is huge and deep. I love diving into massive worlds like LOTR, Harry Potter or Star Wars but you need to set everything up and explain things. At one point there’s a big square thing, someone goes in and talks to something that looked like Glenn Close and walked back out again. I have no idea what it was or what was happening. You can follow the story well enough, to know the basic plot but for me to truly invest myself into this world, I feel like I now need to read a 100 history books to understand.
Warcraft internationally, made a lot of money so I hope they make a sequel but next time work on a script that tells one story, not 50. If you’re a fan of the game, you’ll probably love this film but for outsiders, you’ll feel outside.
Have you seen Warcraft and what did you think of it?