Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Written by: Duncan Jones, Charles Leavitt
Rating: PG Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min
For the record, I’ve never played Warcraft, so I have no idea how faithful the movie is to the popular computer game. I do however, suspect writer’s Duncan Jones and Charles Leavitt, have played the game (a lot), and their love of the source material has negatively impacted their judgment as story tellers.
There’s nobody to truly root for in Warcraft and no audience surrogate to identify with. Not a single character to lead you through this story, and perhaps ask the questions non-Warcraft fans will likely have after being dumped off in this layered world of humans, orcs, and magic. Leaving the uninitiated totally lost as to who to follow, and confused as to why they should emotionally invest in anything happening on the screen.
Should we care about Auduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and his quest to save the kingdom and protect his son? Or perhaps, Garona (Paula Patton) the orc human hybrid and her desire to be accepted for what she is? Should we be moved by King Wrynn’s (Dominic Cooper) selfless loyalty and wise leadership? Or root for the orc, Duratan (Toby Kebbell), who only wants to protect his clan and is willing to challenge dark magic to do so?
As delivered, this film doesn’t settle on any of these worthwhile storylines, and even adds a couple more. Hopelessly spreading itself thin, and never fully developing into anything worth caring about. The visual effects are decent, and the action sequences are good, but without a well thought out narrative to follow, the film gets lost amidst the noise and pretty visuals. Director Duncan Jones really should have picked one central character, and stuck with him/her (as I suspect you do in the game).
This film’s setting and characters will likely make more sense to fans of the game. For everyone else, expect a big story told in very broad strokes.
Some of the individual action sequences are exciting to watch, and Ramin Djawadi thumping musical score was excellent.