To put it simply, Warcraft is a 99 cent version of #GameofThrones. Following two main species in a realm consisting of many, Orcs descent upon the planet Azeroth and fail to find a truce with the humans. Seeing as they will eventually have to go into battle, deeper, more serious threats are on the rise. The Guardian, played by Ben Foster, is simultaneously an interesting, annoying, and laughable character that the plot heavily hinges on. Playing out as more of a three episode miniseries for #HBO, there are three or four core storylines that come into play here, all of which could have used their own film. In my opinion, there are far too many characters and storylines trying to develop within this two hour run time, that is implodes on itself after the first act.
For a film that is 75% CGI or Green Screen, it looks very good. That being said, there is o much CGI that when the human actors are present, it clashes with the rest of the plain. Yes, this is just about the only way to make this look as realistic as possible, but it was off-putting in my opinion; However, I have to give credit where credit is due. Warcraft does benefit from impressive visual effects, but they do lose a bit of flare when the action sequences are filmed just like any other generic war film. The choreography is a bit been-there-done-that and the motion capture has been done many times. Although impressive to look at and presenting a new world to a fresh audience, it really doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of storytelling.
Everything about Wacraft is tonally drab and every character is far too serious. For a film based on otherworldly creatures from a video game franchise, you'd think that there would be a few instances of comedy in order to liven up the audience, but it falls short in that regard as well. Yes, there are a few solid character moments between the Orcs, but when the climax occurs, there are so many of them fighting that the stakes are thrown out the window. Without giving anything away, the opening scene and the final frame of this film are really the only moments of hope throughout this entire film. Both sides equally state their reasons for battle, making the stakes seem worthless, because you don't really know who to root for.
Warcraft makes a valiant effort in bringing the visuals of the video game to life, and they are something that I will definitely remember this film for. The biggest downfall about this picture is the fact that it falls into the same tropes as most generic war films do. It uses its first two acts to discuss the world, introduce endless characters, set-up future storylines for a franchise, and then use its final act for mindless action that will be the only selling point for the film in the marketing. Sadly, the marketing did not even pay off that well, and not very many fans flocked out to see this blockbuster. I did admire some of the elements sprinkled throughout this film, but in an already lacklustre year for big blockbusters, this is sadly among the worst. Warcraft is all style and far too much substance to make itself coherent in any way. Fans of the video game may get more out of it than myself, but as a film it really doesn't work. I will give it quite a few points for trying its best, but it tries far too hard to impress.
No character development.