Movie Review: ‘Warcraft’ Starring Travis Fimmel and Paula Patton
It’s a relatively straightforward premise, one that Jones tries to add some layers of complexity to, with mixed results. It becomes abundantly clear early that not everyone who’s deemed a “bad guy” is in fact bad, and vice versa. Durotan is considered an honorable Orc, striving to maintain the old traditions of the Orcs while keeping his family safe, even going so far as to attempt a rebellion against Gul’dan. It’s somewhat predictable, but it at least gives a little depth to characters we’d otherwise be quick to stereotype. The film also touches briefly on social issues such as miscegenation, gender equality, and class issues, but it never gets too heavy-handed and is actually pretty well-balanced.
At its core, this is an action movie, and this is where the movie shines. The combat scenes are chaotic and fast-paced. The film leans very heavily on CGI, but the effects are incredibly well-done; this may be some of the best CGI and motion-capture I’ve ever seen. Seeing it in 3D IMAX, the effects were seamlessly integrated with the live shots.
For all of this, it’s far from a perfect film. Although Jones tries to give the characters depth, it almost feels at times like he tried to do too much, juggling the fans of the franchise with interweaving a story, reaching a solid conclusion while still leaving the film open for sequels. I was extremely unsatisfied with the way the film ended. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt like it felt too abruptly, and the climax that all the action built up to was more of a let-down than anything. I felt some of the relationships were too forced, and I wasn’t alone on this aspect. My buddy Dan in particular singled out the relationship between Lothar and his son, Callan, saying he didn’t find their interactions believable. As a whole, the acting itself was pretty so-so. It wasn’t awful, but nobody really gave a performance that stood out. Foster in particular didn’t seem like he was all that impressed to be there.
Still, despite some significant flaws, I found myself enjoying it. It won’t win any awards (other than perhaps for the phenomenal CGI or sound editing), but it’s an entertaining way to spend two hours. An avid WoW gamer, Dan enjoyed it thoroughly as well. If you’re looking for a time-killer and are a fan of the franchise, you could do far worse than seeing Warcraft.
Warcraft gets a B-.