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The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, an unlikely set of heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their families, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.
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What is relatively more surprising in my opinion, is how much I ended up enjoying Warcraft. And that's not to say its a perfect film by any means, but I do consider it to be a mostly successful video game adaptation.
For starters, I enjoyed the acting more than I expected to in this movie. Travis Fimmel's portrayal of Anduin Lothar proved to be one of the more likable performances of the film. Toby Kebbell's outing here as Durotan is equally as exciting to watch, and I even found myself enjoying Ben Foster's role as Medivh.
Going into this movie, I expected a great deal of CGI, but its actually done really well in Warcraft. Whether its seeing an orc snatch the soul out of a helpless human, the blade of a sword being sliced, or blood being spilled, the effects do not disappoint.
Its such a feat to behold visually, its a shame that the story sometimes has too much going on, and tries to have multiple plots going in a limited time frame. So I do hope that the blu ray release sees an extended cut or at the very least has some deleted scenes.
And normally, that would stop me from enjoying a movie; but frankly it didn't. Its not a perfect movie, but Warcraft is certainly an entertaining film; and Duncan Jones has in my opinion, succeeded here with his adaptation of the popular Blizzard Entertainment game.
Duncan Jones has mastered the source material and succinctly transferred it to the silver screen. In order to cover all the back story and lore contained in the Warcraft Universe would take over 4 hours of screen time, however, Jones picks the most crucial elements of the plot from 1994's 'Warcraft: Orcs and Humans'.
The most striking thing about the film is the meticulous attention to detail that Jones shows. It enables him to provide very sly moments of fan-service without detracting too much from the narrative. If you've played World of Warcraft, you'll be sure to catch a glimpse of something you recognize from your in-game adventures; but equally, Jones makes sure the story isn't too contrived so as to keep the general public engaged in the story.
Aside from the lore detail, the CGI is simply breathtaking. This is the first noteworthy film where the magic looks and feels believable. Not only that but the specifics of the CGI Orcs made them even more eye-catching than the faithful recreations of Azeroth's fabled landscape.
The one criticism of the film I can muster is that the dialogue at times seemed a bit forced. Understandable for a project of this size and scale, it seems the interactions between characters focused more on reminding you of everyone's name at times rather than focusing the plot. It doesn't detract too much from the film, however it is noticeable.
Overall, the critics will say the film is a dud simply because of the origin of the source material. But as the early indicators from the international box office have shown, there is a demand for more from Jones' Azeroth. And with both the U.S. and China being massively underestimated - the film could yet prove the naysayers wrong. It certainly is on it's way to doing so. A diamond in the rough, but it could yet turn out to be a 'Millennium Star'.
I recommend renting it, but not buying it.
But as the movie progressed I was pleasantly surprised how much it grew on me and how good it turned out to be. What really made this better was the character developement and the story. It is really like a lot of tales in literature of sacrifice, duty, and honor. In the end I wish they would have finalized it a little better just but they chose to leave it open for another movie.