Thanks to showfilmfirst.com we had the opportunity to run down to Leicester Square Empire, to get an early look at the new Warcraft movie. Now, we can let you know before you drop some cash, from Stormwind to Ironforge what was max-level enjoyment and what was more like an escort quest through Felwood. Plied with free booze and shuffled into the cinema like a horde of the undead the tension was palpable. The fears that have plagued fans of this franchise since the films announcements were heavy in the air some were completely unfounded, some….were not.
The tone and look of the opening minutes are familiar to anyone who has ever watched a Blizzard cinematic. The first sights of iconic Game areas such as Goldshire and realistic interpretations of World of Warcraft area maps initially brought waves of nostalgia. However as the movie progressed it grew into annoyance as the mention of things only recognisable to those of us that played the game became seemingly near constant. The 3D as far as we could establish added no value to the story and in panning or quick moving shots of combat for example were hard to follow and headachey to watch. Especially annoying as these scenes were some of the more interesting visually had they not been hamstrung by the 3D. The score was much of what one could expect from a high fantasy title, appropriately highlighting moments of quiet or tension but nothing to write home about.
As far as the story goes if your already a World of Warcraft fan You already know this story. If not the feeling of watching seems to be akin to that of watching the Dungeons and Dragons movie(2000). Suddenly you’re thrust into a world you don’t know with rules, characters and institutions that are not explained well by the film. These are not the only similarities to the D&D movie, unfortunately it’s sense of humour or playfulness is not recreated. A story moment that really baffled us came when Orgrim Doomhammer(Robert Kazinsky)openly rebelled against the rule of Gul’Dan (Daniel Wu). Somehow a bunch of random Orcs got the chop instead of him and he conveniently is not to be seen for five minutes, in which time we were like “Did they just…”.
Dominic Cooper, who we here have never been a particular fan of here, plays one of our heroes King Llane Wrynn. While not terrible he did nothing to change our opinion of him in this, probably not helped by his pretty boring dialogue. Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar felt like a more annoying of version of Matthew Broderick’s character in ladyhawke, granted that might be someone’s deal but it wasn’t ours. In contrast Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar was very engaging on screen and was probably the only thing to make rooting for the Alliance palatable. Surprisingly the CGI Orcs tallied a lot in the win column, the voice acting was on point and the textures of the wholly unbelievable creatures almost felt real at certain points. Probably one of our biggest fears going in the Orcs were one of our biggest wins coming out. Durotan(Toby Kebbell) and Draka(Anna Galvin) particularly held up well and often out performed real life actors on screen. A surprising failure was the make job upon the character Medivh(Ben Foster) upon his transition to evil. It was just poor and we could not work out why at all.
Orgrim Doomhammer(Robert Kazinsky) near the Orc War parties Encampment in Azeroth (cc) Warcraftmovie.com
All in all the Warcraft movie was a bit of a Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. In that it was an excuse for fans of a franchise to see characters from their game do cool things on a movie screen. It was really more a 2 hour World of Warcraft trailer than an epic high fantasy movie worth watching in its own right. But it’s the movie we got and I guess it could have been worse! What we wish we would have gotten was something that took itself alot less seriously, while the moment a guy got *sheeped* was funny it was probably one of three laughs across the entire movie. Our advice for any future venture into Azeroth for movie purposes is go crazy with it. We want a Last Starfigheresque 80’s fest, kid falls into the main character of his favourite videogame and adventure ensues. Definitely take yourself less seriously and be more accesible to people not already fans of the franchise. Let us know what you thought, Do you agree?
Top 5 Quotes:
– “He wishes to lie with me…You would be injured…You would not be an affective mate”
-“Do i go in?” “I don’t know it’s never done that before”
-“Quick thinking slicing it’s head off like that”
-“Aaaaaaagh” *baby thrall*