Kings, Queens, Wizards, Knights, and Monsters, converge in this wide world of where magic and fantasy co-exist. There are several different subplots involving Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) as the experienced, war-torn general, Dominic Cooper as the forlorn King, Dorotan (voice of Toby Kebbel) as an Orc Chieftain and Garona (Paula Patton) as the half-breed orc/human slave. A powerful magic called Vel causes these individuals to embark on various personal quest to bring peace to the human world.
Warcraft is said to be a prequel. Taking place before the game storyline begins. Presumably, this was done to help the general audience follow along with next film in the franchise. It does not help. Needless to say describing the plot of this movie is difficult. Fans of Warcraft will love this. That’s probably because they know what the hell is going on. If you have never played this game, you may have a hard time following the disjointed plot. Warcraft plays out in more of an episodic fashion than a movie with a linear plot. The Warcraft folklore is wide and vast, and I cannot imagine trying to stuff that in 120 minutes, but director Duncan Jones tries his damnedest to do so.
From a critical perspective, Warcraft does nothing to rejuvenate the video game-to-live-action genre. It’s not a bad film, but it isn’t a good one either. In all honesty, Warcraft plays out like a bargain basement Lord of the Rings, than something original.
The performances from the film’s leading actors are average at best. Travis Fimmel as General Lothar is likable and has a few witty one-liners, but I wasn’t wowed. Dominic Cooper plays a decent King Llane but he isn’t in the film long enough to make an impression. Paula Patton is out of place and out of touch in this environment. She is awkward looking and her orc make-up and look appears amateurish.
Director Duncan Jones put himself on the Hollywood radar with his sci-fi hit film Moon. Why on Earth did he feel the need to be a part of something as messy as Warcraft? The film has the look of a PlayStation 4 video game, rendered around human actors. The main CGI character Dorotan, while also likable, looks strange and is visually unsettling to the eye.
Everything with this film is extremely average but did contain several entertaining scenes. However, that is not enough to keep the movie from feeling overly long and confusing. Warcraft focuses on being a good fan film but loses focus on being an overall good film. That’s too bad because there is potential there, but not enough for me to care.