“Warcraft” is the adaption of the video game series of the same name, and features many of the same characters and locations. In the film, humans must protect their world from an invading orc army after their own homeland is ravished. Duncan Jones directs as Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper and Toby Kebbell star.
I have not played a second of Warcraft; the closest I have come to the game is watching the incredible South Park episode. So I really went into this with no expectations or anticipation, all I wanted was a fun fantasy adventure. What I got is a lot of exposition and loud, messy battle sequences en route to a slow and pretty derivative tale.
Remember last year’s “Fantastic Four?” Of course you don’t, because it was awful and nothing memorable happened in it. Well the biggest problem with that film was most all the film was exposition, setting up characters in a world we never fully get to play with before a boring CGI finale. Well, that’s “Warcraft.” We have a lot of people talking about how bad the orcs are and how they need to be stopped, and finally with about 30 minutes left in the film they actually do something about it.
Every character in this film is there just to fill a niche and push certain plot points along. You don’t remember any of their names (not that you could if you wanted to, most all are made up language gibberish) and couldn’t give me three adjectives to describe them if I put a gun to your head.
The effects aren’t even that incredible. The film has become known in the last few months for having a budget of $160 million (another $130 on marketing), so you should expect a lot from it. However aside from the main orc (motion captured by Toby Kebbell, who ironically starred in F4), most every other CGI character looks like a CGI character; picture the orcs and trolls from the “Hobbit” trilogy to get a feel what I’m talking about.
There are just lazy, awkward moments, too. Some editing makes no sense, people will be on one side of the room in one shot then hiding behind a pillar on the opposite side of the room in the next, and there is one laughable sequence where characters share a conversation in real time as everyone around them fights in slow motion. It’s deplorable.
The film makes sure to give fans of the game plenty of Easter eggs and fan service, but as we learned last week with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” fan service does not for a good movie make, nor does it excuse an awful one.
I’m sure the studios wanted a big, epic adventure with wide-reaching appeal, but I cannot see any person who isn’t a Warcraft player enjoying this movie. Even my friend that I saw this with, who grew up on the games and said he appreciated all the nostalgia, acknowledged this movie isn’t very good, and he’s the target demo.
“Warcarft” isn’t painfully awful but it is in no way, shape or form a good or even passable film. It is mostly just build up for final conflict we don’t care about because we never get any attachment to the characters, and the action sequences can only distract us for so long. The film makes absolutely no attempt to wrap up any plotlines in an attempt to set up a sequel, but much like “Fantastic Four” I cannot see people clambering to revisit this world anytime soon.
Critics Rating: 3/10