Warcraft - Movie Reviews [SPOILERS]
I saw the Warcraft movie last night.
TLDR: It's not as bad as I expected it to be, but it is SEVERELY flawed. There are things I really liked and things that make it hard to take this film serious.
What I liked:
The CGI and SFX
This was something that worried me from the very beginning of this movie being announced. However, they really pulled it off in the end and it looks incredible. The motion capture is exceptional, the orcs are truly beautiful and the details they packed in are captivating. I especially loved how they crafted the hair. It moves very well and gives the orcs such life. The environments are also gorgeous and immediately recognizable. Seeing Ironforge is really exciting. The Dark Portal is particularly looming and scary. Dalaran looks great from what you get to see in the establishing shot, but unfortunately you don't get to see the city from the street level.
Lothar and Khadgar:
I was really happy with these castings. They both perform really well on screen. It's fun to watch Khadgar as a young mage, bopping around Azeroth. Lothar is serious, but provides a moderate level of humor (I attribute this to Travis Fimmel's personality, similar to his role as Ragnar in Vikings on the History channel). He really only struggles when forced to interact with his son or Garona (see below).
The orcs are wonderful. The acting from every single orc is convincing and a thrill to watch. The orc scenes are hands down my favorite part of this movie. The fight scenes are brilliantly choreographed and exciting.
It's unique to the movie, but familiar. It felt like it fit in with the universe the games have established. The score really helps to elevate some of the cheaper aspects of the film.
There are a few fun easter eggs for fans to find that gave the whole theater a few chuckles. It was a nice and they didn't disrupt the plot.
What I hated:
This movie feels choppy as fuck. The transitions from scene to scene feel cheap. They do not feel as connected as they should and it's jarring. The movie jumps around a lot. This is due to having to explain so many things in such a short time. As a result, scenes are fairly short and leave you scratching your head a bit.
Just why? It's awkward, half-baked, and a major waste of screen time. No surprise I hated it.
He serves no meaningful purpose. No character development. Boring actor. Weak subplot. They kill him off as fast as he's introduced. You won't care much; I didn't.
Honestly, most of the humans in this movie feel more fake than the CGI orcs. I'm not a fan of the casting. It seems like the actors are trying to be far more royal and proper than necessary.
It's not entirely awful, but it's not great either. I intentionally tried to view this as if I had no pre-existing knowledge of the universe. For the most part, the story is clear and fairly easy to follow. Gul'dan is nutso, wants to bring orcs to Azeroth, needs fel to do it, Medivh helps, heroes need to stop him. There's just a lot of extra gunk slapped in there that distracts and could have been used to elaborate more on what actually matters. Many times you just have to accept that something is the way it is without explanation. For example: Llane calling upon The Guardian at the request of a panicked, non-credible young mage, Medivh's evil motives, Garona siding with the Alliance so easily. These are not major plot holes, you can just shrug them off, but I found myself rolling my eyes a few times.
I find the way everyone refers to Medivh as "The Guardian" over and over quite exhausting. Maybe it's simply the delivery from the actors, but it starts to feel cheesy to me.
In the beginning, Garona speaks in a somewhat broken common-tongue, that she apparently picked up from a prisoner upon entering Azeroth (I guess I'll buy that for the sake of pacing), but by mid-movie her sentence structure is perfectly human. Her vocabulary has expanded in a matter of days...it annoyed me.
The orc armor was probably the best and most accurate representation. The humans however, felt off. The designs felt true to Stormwind, but everyone was far too pristine and clean. None of the costumes for the soldiers felt "lived in." I also hated the royal aesthetic they applied to King Llane, it appeared "plasticky".