Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
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Warcraft fans are gearing up as the live adaptation is here. Our Lead Film Critic Jordan Samuel has seen the sequel and provides the official ComiConverse review.
I was the biggest World of Warcraft fan during my earlier years, logging in around 400 hours on the servers.
Addictions to dungeon raiding took years of my life away, and when it was announced a Warcraft movie was in the works, my eyes lit up.
As the world built up in the games, we finally now see our story adapted on the big screen. The potential was there to create a Lord of the Rings type franchise that might have enticed many newcomers into the game series, while being standalone story from it.
It could all have been similar to what Marvel Studios did with its movie universe; taking a storyline from the games and adapting itÂ for audiences. Sadly, years passed and the movie was delayed to a point where my enthusiasm diminished. I even wrote ideas for where the movie could be taken, manly posted on old video game forums.
Yesâ¦ I was that nerdy and finally after 10 years, Duncan Jones presents the live-action Warcraft movie.
Could this potentially be the video game adaptation we needed for the series, or would it be just another dud?
The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal open to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.
The epic battle shown in the trailer is only a fraction of what is offered in Warcraft. The tension with this creative effort lies with Duncan Jones trying to develop the game into a feature length movie, which shows up throughout the 2-hour screen time.
This feels like this yearâs Fantastic Four (2015), more than a bubbling fantasy epic that could create a fresh new movie franchise.
Fantasy is a hard genre to get right, with most films lacking any true charm. Warcraft sadly falls in the pot with other failed attempts â with numerous world building failing to click despite Duncan Jonesâs decent effort.
Moon and Source CodeÂ were both outstanding movies by the director, but the issue with WarcraftÂ stems from the script. It will alienate the film going audience with constant references to the game franchise all over the picture.Â Charles Leavitt does try to produce an emotional fantasy epic with orcs and humans in a constant war, but it was doomed from the start.Â Instead, he creates a cringe worthy mess that slaps the source material straight in the face.
The orcs feel like cartoon characters lacking any dark presence seen in the game series, which is disappointing seeing as Lord of the Rings got that so right back in 2001.
Durotan, the main character in the film, is a shadow of the character he is in the games, he just feels so toned down and boring. I never once felt for him in the war which has cost the lives of his people. Even Pocahontas did a better job in animated form.
Durotan is played by Toby Kebbel, who does a remarkably decent job with the booming voice, but it all falls apart when his dialogue is complete garbage.
The script rewriting should have added some much needed comedy to Durotan, instead of the dark gritty Orc/Batman seen in the film’s the final product. Kebbell is doing the best with what he has been given, so I will not blame him for the bad character development.
Andean Lothar, played by Travis Fimmel, is a generic human Knight, who despises the orcs. Another shameful adaptation of a popular character, as the script forgets to develop him thought the run-time leaving no connection to his story arc.
Lothar could have been much more, but due to the laughable script is just a clichÃ© strong man. Fimmel also lacks the finesse needed to bring the powerful character to life.
Now, on to action, which is the main focus of Warcraftâs DNA. Boy, does it feel like a dated CGI opening to a 90âs video game. That is shameful, when lower budget movies like Deadpool doing it so well.
Green screen is everywhere and it doesn’t even blend in with the terrible creature designs, which makes everything feel cheap. The final battle, for instance, is similar to the stuff seen in Fantastic Four, lazy unoriginal and plainly uninteresting.
One character who sticks out like a sore thumb is the female orc, Garona Halforcen, due to a crazy decision to use make up instead of CGI. Paula Patton is beautiful and the director knows so, because many scenes involving her are mostly naked for some reason.
Garona could have been amazing in the film, but no we are instead given a female character clichÃ©.
Warcraft sadly wonât be wining the Oscar this year, with its unoriginal take on these characters and storytelling. It reminds me of Battlefield Earth something that should never happen in 2016. Duncan Jones should take a break after this disaster.
Because ultimately this game franchise is DOA in movie form, which is embarrassing for fans of the game series. I was so excited for the picture when it was announced but now wish it never released.
Please do not watch this.
Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter:@JordanESamuel
Warcraft is a shameful adaptation of the series which reinvented the real-time strategy/MMO genre of video games. It will wind up in the deep pool of failed video game movies.