Posted May 31 2016

Warcraft - This Movie Does Not R'Orc

Dir: Duncan Jones

Starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Foster

Duncan Jones’ Warcraft – which, for the record, doesn’t feature the subtitle “The Beginning” anywhere on screen; therefore that’s not it’s title – does require an awful lot of world building. In the interests of transparency, none of us here at LastWord Towers have ever played the game so we can’t vouch for the verisimilitude here. But we know what we like. And we quite liked this for the first half – even if it does feel at times like the all six seasons of Game of Thrones jammed into two hours. (And the comparison is not a random one – irrespective of who came first.)

Jones does a good job of introducing a multitude of characters – both human, orc and – occasionally, well, “blue.” And also has a fair stab at creating a series of environments, even if that side of things does start to feel like a platform game brought to life after a while – which, of course, this is. Initially, despite the plethora of human beards and mo-cap bods, there is an understanding of character, and time is taken to establish the personalities of the central players (of which there are, inevitably, a lot.) There are also some impressive early action sequences and battles, that once again take their time to focus on character as much as action – most notably the first forest-based confrontation between the orcs and man.

But as the film progresses, and more and more is chucked at the screen, the film simply loses it focus and proves that, once again, more is less. As the (largely CG) spectacle grows, the interest diminishes – in short, the more “green” evil there was, the less we could be bothered.

There are still moments, and Jones marshals a lot of it with some degree of finesse, but ultimately its scope and spectacle dominates and, in a strange way, the more that takes over, the duller the whole thing becomes. Plus, it doesn’t half go on at the end – as they say.

Still better than most video games into movies, but not up there with many of those not from that source. In other words, more Willow than Lord of the Rings. (And no, all you ‘80s revisionists out there – that’s not a good thing.)






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