I tend to make these film reviews spoiler free, but this time, I'd like to point out a few examples of why I thought Warcraft kicked ass. Especially since the film was far from a success, financially and critically. That said, :::Spoiler Alert!:::
Since the last Warcraft game I played was during an era of Voodoo GPU's, I'm not coming to you as a die-hard World of Warcraft player. Just a freakish fan of science fiction in all formats, and apparently, as of late, fantasy fiction as well.
Whether or not gamers liked it is a different story that I haven't looked into, because when considering a film's impact or success, I like to look at how it did and what it was across the board, and not just with any particular market segment.
Warcraft's biggest problem is being too smart of a film. The elements of the Warcraft movie that make it special probably weren't appreciated by the masses that saw it during its first several days after release. That's why any life the film had was lived during its first 4 or 5 days, after which it fell off and died dead. Deaded.
However, someone like me (whatever that means) can appreciate the nuances of the Warcraft movie. The detail that went into the creation of the Orcs. Not only the CGI of the magic, but also, its physics. And most importantly, as I always emphasize, the story telling.
The dynamic between Durotan and his wife, his wife and their baby, and the heartstrings that are tugged on when Durotan is defeated in the most dishonorable of ways, or when his wife dies in battle just after placing their child in safety. I felt like the deaths were carried out tastefully and for reason, versus killing off characters distastefully or out of a sense of obligation.
Additionally, the tusk Garona carried around her neck, as well as the tusk Orgrim took from Durotan's dead body, with the hope of one day giving it to Durotan's son. These are the tasty little tidbits that when done right, stay with you. The difference between good, and great.
The movie certainly has its fair share of faults. Instances of back-story and character development that were M.I.A. And why Khadgar was treated like shit for the first half of the film like he's some sort of peasant pig-dog, and then all of a sudden, he's a superbly-well-respected boy mage.
There are some disconnects present, but the good far outweighs the bad, and just when you think the film is even thinking about stuttering, boom! Epic CG, all up in your grill, pulls you right back in.
The Warcraft movie didn't resonate with the masses in the manner in which its financiers hoped it would have, but if you're even a mild fan of sci-fi & fantasy, let their loss be your gain. Swing by the nearest RedBox machine and grab this in bluray, STAT.
Image: Universal Pictures