Thursday, 16 June 2016

Warcraft: The Beginning

I have not played any Warcraft game, with the exception of World of Warcraft, which is incredibly boring due to it's nature as an MMO.

So when I went into Warcraft: The Beginning, I knew nothing about it, apart from it being based on the games and directed by David Bowie's son.

The story is that the Orcs are coming to the (world? country? continent? dimension? planet? The film is very unclear) of Azeroth using "fell" magic, which requires living sacrifices to work and corrupts the areas in which it is used.
The Orcs, being war-like, want to ravage and conquer, taking more prisoners so that they can bring yet more Orcs through.
The current denizens of Azeroth, who are primarily human, are not fans of this idea.

That's about as much as I can say without going entirely into spoiler territory. This is in part due to the fact that the film covers so much in it's two hour run-time that it seems incredibly rushed.
It's an odd paradox, where the film feels overly long, but extending the length so that events could be better paced would have made it feel shorter.

The story seems very cliched, but it does make some very courageous moves, which is should be applauded for.

The film features of a lot of CGI, but once again it's so pervasive that it's doesn't detract from the suspension of disbelief.

Apart from the pacing (which was a severe issue), the only major flaw I can think of is in the sound design is at times poor, with the noise of magic spells being cast being far louder than the things characters are saying.

There is a good sense of humour pervading throughout the film, including a joke in regards to a particular WOW spell.

There are also other references but these are a bit more flawed. For example, a particular demon appears who I think I've seen in artwork surrounding the games, and was obviously recognised by the fans of the games, but it was completely lost on me, especially because the film made absolutely no effort in explaining it.

Conclusion

Overall, I found that I didn't care for this film. It did too much in too short a time, and would have greatly benefited from further development in almost every area of the story. The film does deserve some praise for being willing to buck the trend and not be formulaic, but in the end was not much more than average.

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