Cert: 12A Runtime: 123 mins Director: Duncan Jones Cast: Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Dominic Cooper
Is war the only answer?
Video game movies haven’t had the best start to life in the 21st century. Now we have the next attempt Warcraft! I’ve never played the games but I have researched it. My main pull for watching the film is Duncan Jones! He really is a visionary director Moon and Source Code are worthy of any ones time. So what is Warcraft about? The once-peaceful realm of Azeroth is on the brink of destruction. Its human inhabitants face invasion from marauding orc warriors, themselves having fled their own dying world of Draenor through a gateway known as the Dark Portal. With both humans and orcs facing annihilation, human warrior Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and orc leader Durotan (Toby Kebbell) find themselves headed for a collision course, an epic clash of two races that will determine the fate of both worlds.
What elevates Warcraft from a typical fantasy film is that it offers something refreshing with its plot: the blurred sides of good and evil. Just like the game you will find yourself rooting for either race – the humans or the orcs, based on what morals you personally believe in. Of course notwithstanding that there is a main antagonist, these two battling races are essentially just beings fighting for their survival whom the evils of war find a way to corrupt. It is clear how much love Duncan Jones has for this universe and his team’s visual effects do an incredible job in translating this love on-screen: from the primitive textures of the orc world to the glowing whoosh of magical spells. This attention-to-detail is impressive especially with the orcs: from their freakishly huge hands, hulky robust physiques, up to the rings attached to their tusks. Warcraft is easily one of this year’s biggest films!
At times though, the source material may be just too rich that it becomes a disadvantage in effectively telling its story. For the first instalment, Jones wrestles with so many characters, locations and subplots which result in fast-paced story-telling, offering no breathing room and ample time to fully- develop most of the characters.While there are a lot of scenes with exposition and minor characters are also used as plot-devices to get us emotionally invested, they all seem not enough as they are merely short backstories and fragments of characterizations. Hence, by the third act when some of these characters are lost, the emotional punch is weaker than how it should have been. Warcraft ultimately feels like a sequel where audiences are expected to do their homework on the world’s history rather than a franchise-starter that effectively builds up characters for the next film. This movie would have been better served if it was thirty minutes longer. With all the things it aspires to be in such a short run time, the end product comes out as a boisterous and flashy piece.