Review: WARCRAFT Is an Extreme Fantasy Adventure Film
When I saw the first footage of Warcraft at San Diego Comic-Con a couple of years ago I was completely blown away. At the time, I thought that it would take fantasy films to a whole new level, and I couldn’t wait to see the fully completely movie. Well, I saw it and I’m happy to say that it completely delivered the awesomeness that I was hoping for! Warcraft could have gone one of two ways. It could have been a complete disaster or it could have been an incredibly entertaining action-packed adventure film. At this point, it’s up to the audience to decide which one it is.
Just so you know, I haven’t played Warcraft since Warcraft II, but I’ve continued to follow the development of the game over the years, and I am up to date on what is going on. It’s just something I haven’t been able to commit the time to, as much as I know I would enjoy it.
I had faith that director Duncan Jones would be able to pull this film off. The guy is a hardcore fan of the game, and he’s such a talented filmmaker. I believe that he and his talented team of people gave us the best possible film that Blizzard or any fan of the game could have asked for. This film is so damn cool, and I was blown away by some of the stuff that I saw. Fans of the game are going to enjoy the hell out of it, especially with all of the Easter eggs that were thrown into it. There’s no doubt that they’ll be able to pick out and dissect every little detail. Make no mistake, this is a Warcraft movie made by fans for fans.
Warcraft is such an extreme fantasy film, and I honestly don’t think audiences will have ever seen anything like it before. You could try to compare the film to The Lord of the Rings or any other fantasy type movie, but Warcraft is in a league of its own. This thing truly does take fantasy films to a new level, and I absolutely loved it. The whole magical aspect of the film was insanely cool, and the visuals were absolutely stunning! I really hope that general audiences will be able to accept and enjoy the stuff that they see in it. If they don’t, I can see how it would turn them off. You've got to be really invested in fantasy to truly appreciate what Jones and his team have accomplished
After the trailer was released a lot of people seemed to complain about the visual effects saying that they looked cheap. Well, after seeing the film in IMAX 3D, I can tell you that the effects and CGI used to bring this story and its characters to life on the big screen are far from cheap, and they are far beyond what we would see in the video games. The details that were put into creating this fantastical universe and its characters are insane, especially with the creation of the orcs, their skin and the clothes and armor that they wore. After seeing the movie I don’t see how anyone could call the visual effects that were created by Industrial Light and Magic cheap.
Then you also have the spectacular practical effects that were created by Weta Workshop. All of the armor and weapons that were created for the human characters were real. I’ve seen a lot of that stuff in person, but seeing it all in action in the movie is pretty damn awesome. There were also the sets that were built for the film, which turned out to be absolutely beautiful.
Between the visual CGI and the practical effects, Warcraft is probably one of the most visually stunning films ever made. As we all know, though, the visuals aren’t what make a movie great. What makes a movie great is the story, script, and characters. This film solidly handles all three of those things, and they are what make this movie so fantastic.
The story is set in the peaceful realm of Azeroth, which is threatened when a fearsome horde of Orc warriors invade their home looking to find a place to colonize because their realm is dead. Each opposing side faces their own challenges and difficulties as both sides are just looking to survive, but at what cost? The humans are facing complete destruction while the Orc face extinction. The story focuses on the heroes of each side as they try and find a way to co-exist for their posterity's future. Working towards a peaceful resolution comes at a great cost, though, and there are heavy sacrifices.
What I loved about the story is that it’s not your normal good humans versus bad orcs kind of movie like The Lord of the Rings. It’s more complicated than that. There are layers to this story that involve good characters on both sides and there are factions within those groups that cause the real problems. I think it is awesome that it focuses on and explores individuals and relationships from both sides so we can actually connect with the characters, not just on the side of the humans, but also on the side of the orcs, which is something we rarely see. There are also some very surprising plot points in the film that I didn’t see coming at all that add so much emotional weight to the story they wanted to tell.
The characters that were brought to life so incredibly well in this movie. You really care for each of the heroes and want them to succeed as they try to make the best decisions possible for their people. The actors who brought these characters to life all gave stellar performances. The actors who played the character for the Alliance include Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar, Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn, Ben Foster as Medivh, Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar, Ruth Negga as Lady Taria, and Paula Patton as Garona. The side of the Horde is be made up of Toby Kebbel as Durotan, Rob Kazinsky as Orgrim, Clancy Brown as Blackhand, and Daniel Wu as Gul’Dan. As awesome as everyone was in the film, I have to say that Foster really stood out above the rest. He just threw himself into his role and played this sorcerer character brilliantly.
Warcraft is a well-rounded film that has everything that I love about the movies — action, drama, comedy, and adventure. It’s easily the best video game adaptation that has ever been made, and it’s made in a way that fans of the game, the fantasy genre, and general audiences will enjoy and appreciate. I just hope that general audiences give this movie a chance! There seem to be some people out there that just aren’t interested. If those people actually go out and see it, though, I am confident that they will be pleasantly surprised by the awesomeness that this film has to offer.
Make no mistake, the movie is probably going to end up with a lot of mixed reviews. Some people aren't going to be into it, some won't allow themselves to be engulfed by the experience. But if you truly appreciate the fantasy genre then you'll most likely appreciate what this film accomplishes. I'll admit, some of the dialogue is a little rough around the edges, but regardless of that, I think Jones has done something epically spectacular, and I hope he gets to complete the trilogy of films that he and Blizzard set out to make.
If you’re on the fence about Warcraft, don’t be! Go see this movie! It’s seriously a spectacular film that begs to be seen on the big screen. It’s an absolute blast!