Warcraft (2016)

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Genre: Fantasy/Action

Director: Duncan Jones

Running Time: 123 minutes

Main Cast: Toby Kebbell, Daniel Wu, Dominic Cooper, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Ben Schnetzer

Warcraft has failed to do what most video game film adaptions have tried to do, succeed in jumping platforms to expand its franchise.

However the adaption of the highly successful video game World of Warcraft is a great way to attract new people to the game, but it won’t be enough to influence people to watch the movie.

The film is set in the games fictional world of Azeroth and is the beginning of the encounters between the Orcs and Humans, the two main races in the World of Warcraft universe.

The Orcs arrive through a magical portal led by a Power-hungry Warlord to try and conquer the world of Azeroth, which is inhabited by the Humans.

One Orc by the name of Durotan (Toby Kebbell) rebels against his power-hungry leader Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) after realising that he is destroying Azeroth like he destroyed their homeland.

Durotan tries to establish a truce between Orcs and Humans by meeting with the King of Azeroth (Dominic Cooper), it all goes south from this point.

Duncan Jones writes and directs the film and he doesn’t give himself time to breathe during the movie with a fast paced narrative and way too many characters.

The movie consists of a tonne of lead characters and as the action progresses these characters are unable to expand… well none are able to expand or develop because of the amount of main characters and the amount of time spent on each character.

There is Gul’dan, Durotan, King Llane, Sir Anduin Lothar (Vikings star Travis Fimmel), Garona (Paula Patton), Guardian Medivh (Ben Foster) and gifted mage Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer).

It is difficult to form attachments with any of the lead characters because of the number of leads and the amount of time focused on those characters.

The film feels more like a video game cut scene where at any moment a prompt could appear on the screen for viewer engagement and for the viewer to begin playing it.

Apart from its lackluster narrative and too many main characters the film is very eye catching and the universe looks diverse, where CGI enables the features, landscapes and characters of Azeroth to look amazing.

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Travis Fimmel in action Source: Legendary Pictures

From its ending It looks like this is just the beginning of this series, as hinted by the title (Warcraft: The Beginning), so hopefully the next film is able to finally bring some success for films based on video games.

Overall the film is a good start for a series that looks ready to expand, it only needs a few tweaks to enable character development and more viewer engagement with these characters. Hopefully these tweaks enable the tag attached to games being adapted to films.

 

The Front Row Opinion

★★½

 

Here is the Trailer for Warcraft and don’t forget to like The Front Row Reviewer on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @thefrontrowreviewer

 

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