Warcraft (2016)

Warcraft (2016)

Jono author picI believe video games can be adapted into great movies. There’s a wealth of interesting stories to be extracted from the industry. Warcraft is one such franchise ripe for cinematic exploitation, but alas, in the name of ‘world building,’ director Duncan Jones has simply tried to cram in too many stories at once.

Would it be too much to ask to narrow the focus to one of the many characters competing for screentime? The roguish knight, Lothar, played with verve by Travis Fimmel? The tragic orc Chieftan, Durotan (Toby Kebbell)? The tortured mage, Medivh (Ben Foster)? Instead the audience is subjected to an over-populated crescendo of CGI smackdowns that carry little dramatic heft. But here’s the thing: the plot doesn’t suck; and there is a welcome distribution of pathos for characters of both genders and on both sides of the conflict (LOTR would blush). I even liked the earnest bombast with which the film launches into the fantasy setting, replete with glowing eyeballs and freakishly large orc hands. The problem is greed and hubris. Less is more and all that.

Despite the bad press, Warcraft is not Super Mario Bros. bad. It’s more like Final Fantasy bad, ie. a watchable disaster.

2.5 stars

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