Video game adaptations seem to be the burden of many fans out there that love their favourite games. Games like Max Payne, Tomb Raider, Hitman and Doom are on the list of games that have been destroyed on screen. Their main problems have been a lack of real storytelling or anyone decent behind it. Warcraft started off with its first game back in 1994 with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Since then, the rest is history for the franchise of Warcraft. Probably the biggest game of all-time, this is the one video game adaptation that needed to be portrayed correctly. The studios got off to a fantastic start by hiring Duncan Jones, director of the excellent Moon starring Sam Rockwell back in 2009. Having a young director that’s full of talent and that has passion for the project is perfect.
Since Warcraft’s first introduction at footage was in its trailer release late last year. I remember seeing the trailer and not being overly blown away. Having a film like this, it 100% needs to be right. I honestly didn’t think the film was terrible, but it was far from being anything more than good. I will clarify that I haven’t played a second of any Warcraft game, so the story and characters were completely new to me. Within the first 10 minutes, I had to turn to my friend and say to him that I was immediately lost. From that point, I was playing catch up with the characters and the meaning behind all the actions of the characters on screen. Maybe I didn’t understand truly what was happening due to not playing the games before. But to make a film successful, it has to be available and understandable to everyone. I can understand it’s a film for the fans, but to truly make it successful and to gain mass appeal, you have to introduce characters a lot better.
It ticks all the boxes to be a huge summer blockbuster. You take a glimpse at it and it should be this humungous epic that will look incredible and sound amazing. The sound and the music are fantastic. The use of IMAX for the sound and visuals were stunning I had to admit, but the visuals and scenery are strikingly similar to other fantasy films, one pops to my head immediately in Lord of the Rings. And I know people get annoyed at the comparison, but it’s very hard not to compare the two. Unfortunately, for Warcraft, it seems a little too late to bring something like this on screen without it being compared to other fantasy movies. Warcraft’s biggest problem is that to an outsider it makes absolutely no sense. You’re immediately thrown into this story that isn’t introduced well enough at all. Warcraft may possess incredible visuals, but at the end of the day, that means squat when you don’t have an convincing storyline or decent actors to portray these interesting characters on the big screen.
I watched Warcraft with fans and players of the game back in the day and they even mentioned how disappointed they were in the end. For me, if I couldn’t understand fully what was happening on screen, I would of forgiven it a little if I actually enjoyed what I was seeing. The action was lacklustre and should of definitely been used a lot more. Even the end fight between the main Orc and human was over within seconds. There I was gearing up for an immense battle to salvage what was a disappointing two hours, then to be ultimately hit in the face with disappointment for the final time.
There was huge potential for Warcraft to be a great movie. Even with its flaws, there are positives to take out of it. First, the backing of the fans behind it is unreal. It will make a lot of money and they will want to see more. The visuals and sound were incredible, but for me, there would need to be a huge change if I was to watch the sequel willingly. 2 out of 5 stars.