Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Film Review: "Warcraft" (2016)

"Two worlds. One destiny."
This is what is at stake in Warcraft. This fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones; written by Jones, Charles Leavitt and Chris Metzen; based on the Warcraft video game series and novels. The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

The film was first announced in 2006 as a project partnership between Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment. Originally, Sam Raimi was set to direct. Ultimately, Duncan Jones replaced Raimi in January 2013. Immediately taking the helm, Jones voiced his dissatisfaction with the script. Jones said that the original script was very one sided in terms of the two factions. He soon made major edits to the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story. Jones said that the Warcraft universe is very "High Fantasy" or in other words very eccentric and planned to make it feel more grounded in reality though at the same time keep the look and feel of the games in the film. The source for the movie adaptation is being taken from the books Rise of the Horde, which tells how the Orcish Horde was formed; as well as The Last Guardian, which shows the human side and reaction to Orcish invasion. During production and filming, lifesize weapons and suits of armour were built for the orcs despite the orcs being played by actors via motion capture. This was mainly for photographic references and so that they could use them as props on the set. The film went through 20 months of post production. Thomas Tull, the CEO of Legendary Pictures and producer of the film, said that the things Jones and the special effects team are doing are truly on the cutting edge. So the film was pushed back to May 2016 from their original December 2015 release date. In addition to the extensive post production process, the film was passed back in order to avoid the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu. The performances given by the talented ensemble were lacklustre, to say the least. Fimmel, Patton, Foster and Cooper were horribly miscast in their respective roles.

Despite an effective otherworldly atmosphere and spectacular visuals, Warcraft suffers from its poorly constructed plot, an ensemble of wasted and miscast talents, and its comically desperate attempt to be the video game movie to change the trend of consistently bad video game movies. With a heavy heart, it hurts for me to say that Duncan Jones gave an admirable effort, but ultimately he and millions of video game fans have to accept the fact that it can never be done.

Simon says Warcraft receives:

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