"Warcraft" stars Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, and Paula Patton. Released on June 10, 2016, the film follows the confrontation between the humans and the orcs.
The film is directed by Duncan Jones, who also directed Moon and Source Code, and it is based on the video game series of the same name by Blizzard Entertainment. I'm not very big on the Warcraft source material nor have I even played any of the games. So for this review, I am exploring this film without any knowledge of Warcraft whatsoever (This might be fun…). What I mean is that I know what it's about, just not everything else.
For those who are new to the source material, Warcraft takes place in the fantasy world known as Azeroth where the human nations (the Alliance) and the orcs (the Horde) fight each other for a reason. The humans fight to protect their home world, while the orcs fight to claim their new home when their own is destroyed. Let me start off by saying that the design of this world looks amazing. It really feels like I am part of that world myself. Duncan Jones did a really nice job at capturing the look and feel of the Warcraft games and translating them onto the big screen. The performances were pretty decent, ranging from Fimmel as Anduin Lothar to Daniel Wu as the orc warlock, Gul'dan. Toby Kebbell nearly shines as Durotan, the protagonist for the Horde. Durotan is probably the only character in the film that interests me the most because he has doubts about Gul'dan's actions and is willing to do what he can to save his clan. Speaking of which, the design of the orcs looked really realistic and unique. They don't really feel like they're a part of a copy-and-paste system. All of the orcs shown are designed differently based on their personalities. The visuals were also well done as well, which helped create an enjoyable experience of being in that fantasy world. What I also liked about this film is that they didn't treat the humans and the orcs as the good guys and bad guys. They all have their motivations as to why they're performing their actions.
The big flaw I had with this film was how they target their audience. The whole film felt like it was made for fans of the source material, which is a good thing, but for me, I really couldn't keep track of the names of the characters for the life of me. People outside of the fan base may find this to be a generic, yet visually stunning, fantasy film. The pacing was pretty messy at some points. There were certain parts that felt a bit rushed and a couple of parts that slowed the film down a little. I thought the first and second parts were good, but the ending was…eh. I'm not spoiling what the ending was, but it does leave room for some possible sequels (if we ever get any sequels…).
Overall, "Warcraft" is far from terrible, but it's no Lord of the Rings either. The visuals, the concept, and the designs of the world will surely please fans of the source material, but everything else may not do as well to impress those outside of the fan base. There were plenty of things that I enjoyed from this latest video-game-turned-film, but it's not something for me to write home about. If you're a fan of the Warcraft source material, you might like this film.