Warcraft Review

Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier


Director: Duncan Jones
Writers: Charles Leavitt, Duncan Jones
Stars: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster 

Plot:  As an Orc horde invades the planet Azeroth using a magic portal, a few human heroes and dissenting Orcs must attempt to stop the true evil behind this war.

Running Time: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 27%   Audience 77%

Why I Watched It: I heard a lot about it so I had to see for myself also it’s a good cast.

Random Thoughts: A lot to unpack here, first off the title it was Warcraft, then they added The Beginning to it, I think the reason is this film doesn’t have an ending it’s a start of a story a prologue if you will, an over 2 hour prologue at that.  Also yes it’s based on the game World Of Warcraft, never played it saw a ton of commercials for it but never played it.

Duncan Jones is an interesting director I really liked Moon and so did a lot of critics and movie goers but he’s lived off that for awhile now and if you’ve sat through Mute you might not be sure if he’s a good director or not.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room or the rotten tomato if you will critics hated this movie and audiences liked it and they have a hug bridge between them, hard to say why critics like fantasy movies but true they are hard on movies based on games,  I do think the critics were so hard on it that when people saw it on streaming they thought well that wasn’t that bad.

What I Liked: Honestly not a whole heck of a lot, I didn’t hate the movie but nothing really stood out, this fantasy movie would have been cliched in the 80′s, it’s very text book and I’ll be honest this isn’t my favorite sub-genre.

This is tricky cause there was a lot alright about the film but in almost every department I wanted more.  Acting wise Paula Patton tries very hard and I have to say she’s easily the best thing in the movie, Travis Fimmel does try and does kind of flesh out his character, but it plays like a game character, someone with a few characteristics and nothing more.

This film doesn’t look great but they tired it’s clear they needed more money to do what they wanted and it shows it’s the old their eyes were bigger than their stomach or wallet in this case.

What I Didn’t Like: This film reminds me very much of John Carter, it was dead on arrival, they look the same, expensive but somehow still cheap.  The main problem with Warcraft is they wanted an epic story but what they did was retread every fantasy cliche they could think of.  To be kind the film is a watchable mess.

I don’t like picking on actors but I have to here, now I will say almost everyone is miscast and almost everyone has terrible dialogue to say.  Poor Ben Foster, he’s an intense indy actor and a very good one but here dear lord it was bad, not his wheelhouse for sure.  Dominic Cooper looked downright silly in all his customs, I actually laughed at him a few times, not his fault but still and it doesn’t help he gives a bad performance.

Like I said I’ve never played Warcraft and don’t know the game that well so maybe people who loved the game digged this movie, for me the story was bloated and so cliched it bored me and you feel like the running time here.  Also a heads up this movie is all set up so if you go in thinking there’s an ending, well not so much, getting ready to be disappointed.

I do think Duncan Jones had an idea and I think he had some passion but the film just doesn’t work on many different levels, the film also is very dour so there’s not a lot of fun to be had, it wants to be Lord Of The Rings and it hits closer to Dungeons and Dragons.

Final Thoughts: For the most part a watchable misstep.

Rating: 4/10

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