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My Warcraft (movie) review - shamelessly self-centered post

DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
I'm a gamer - and I've played all the Warcraft games. I never particularly cared for the stories in those games, though, so I didn't go into this with much in the way of preconceived notions.

Based on the trailer, I was expecting an underwhelming popcorn B-movie with bad CGI.

I was pleasantly surprised.

First of all, I have to say the CGI is absolutely gorgeous. I've seen a lot of movies, believe me, and this has to be one of the most convincing fantasy films in terms of visuals alone. The Orcs in particular - are amazing.

Anyway, in terms of the heart of the film - the story, characters and the acting - it's sort of a mixture of good and bad. 

The story itself is simple but effective - and it makes enough sense to give you a reason to care. That said, it's very high-fantasy stuff - and I'm sure some people will be turned off by the emphasis on extravagant magic and such.

As for the acting, well, it's a mixed bag. 

Ironically, the human characters face the most trouble here. Ben Foster as Medivh, for instance, doesn't seem to connect with his role. He looks and sounds as if he's struggling with the material - and as if he regrets being there. Travis Fimmel as Lothar is better, but he also seems to have a hard time just standing still and looking normal. It's as if he's constantly trying to emote something, which makes him over-act on more than one occasion. Paula Patton as Garona goes back and forth between powerful, genuine expression and cringe-worthy melodrama. Surprisingly, I found Ben Schnetzer the best and most convincing actor, playing Khadgar. He was fun and not at all the comic relief I expected him to be.

On the opposite side of the coin, we have the Orcs - and to put it simply, they're ALL great. They look incredible and the actors behind them give them real weight and pathos. Durotan, Gul'dan and Blackhand are particularly convincing and masterfully executed. The whole movie might well be better if it was all about these guys.

Now, for the action. It's amazingly well done. I saw the movie in 3D - and the live actors meshed convincingly with the animated models - and the action sequences were more or less perfect. I didn't detect a single "bad 3D" moment - which is extremely rare. Very exciting stuff, for sure.

Speaking of 3D - something I generally don't care much for, this was an exception. Everything jumped out of the screen at you - and it didn't seem tacked on at all. The spectacle felt appropriately close to you - and the striking background images were just fabulous on a grand scale.

Sadly, it's not all roses from there. 

The ending was rushed - and everything wrapped up too quickly - and it didn't quite convince as a plausible series of events towards the end.

There's a pretty serious lack of character development in the beginning of the film. The Orcs invade - and the humans seem strangely laid-back and almost casual in their initial response. Things happen without enough build-up. It's 20 or 30 minutes too short for the scale of what's going on, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, there's also a somewhat unnecessary subplot involving the son of Lothar - and there's a problem with his acting and the age difference seems off. Lothar simply doesn't look or feel like a father to me. To make it worse, events related to father and son are too cliché and needed more impact.

Things like these mean the movie isn't all it could have been.

However, the critics are flat-out unfair - and if you're into fantasy movies and a touching spectacle, you need to go see this in the theater, and for once, you should go with 3D.

I truly hope it will do enough business to warrant a sequel. Duncan Jones did well here, but he can do even better - and I'd love to see full justice done to the material.

7/10

Comments

  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,275
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
    H0urg1ass said:
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
    Yes, I'm really hoping there will be an extended cut with better pacing and character development.

    But I also understand the pressures of Hollywood - and I'm sure the suits were desperate to make it into an action spectacle more than anything else.

    I mean, that's been the big money path since the superhero obsession became the norm, and we all know suits follow the money like lemmings.
  • RaquisRaquis Member UncommonPosts: 975
    edited May 2016
    i am going to see the movie like i do most movies and its just for the special effects.
    i thought it was going to be better than Avatar but its ok then i have avatar 2 to look forward too;)
    i dont care about WOW lore,its an average overpriced mmo!
  • LokeroLokero Member RarePosts: 1,514
    Thank you, DKLond for not calling it the "WoW movie" at least :p
    I give your review :+1: :+1:  on that alone.

    That's starting to drive me nuts.  And, the journalists who should know better are doing it just as much, if not more, than the consumers.(mmorpg *cough*)
  • VolgoreVolgore Member EpicPosts: 3,872
    edited May 2016
    H0urg1ass said:
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
    Here is an interview of Duncan in which he also talks about a possible extended cut and how is was working with Blizzard.
    There is also a rumour about a 2hr:40min version that got cut to 2hrs.


     

    image
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,057
    H0urg1ass said:
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
    Hopefully we get a Director's Cut on the Blu-Ray disc.
    It's not the first time the suits ruined an excellent movie by forcing drastic cuts. For instance, "Kingdom of Heaven" from Ridley Scott is an average movie in its theater version, and is in my opinion a true masterpiece in the Director's Cut on DVD/Blu-Ray.
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming - RAM: 16GB Kingston HyperX Savage DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Philips 40PUK6809 4K 3D TV - Second display: Philips 273v 27" gaming monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset and Razer Hydra controllers - Soundcard: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,040
    H0urg1ass said:
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
    Hopefully we get a Director's Cut on the Blu-Ray disc.
    It's not the first time the suits ruined an excellent movie by forcing drastic cuts. For instance, "Kingdom of Heaven" from Ridley Scott is an average movie in its theater version, and is in my opinion a true masterpiece in the Director's Cut on DVD/Blu-Ray.
    I loved Kingdom of Heaven. Luckily I never saw it in the theater and have only seen the director's cut.

    It was also the first time I ever noticed Eva Green. It was love at first sight... and I don't mean just because she's a hottie, I love her acting.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
    Kingdom of Heaven DC is not bad, but hardly a masterpiece. Ridley Scott stopped making masterpieces long, long ago :)

    Well, imo, obviously.
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,057
    DKLond said:
    Kingdom of Heaven DC is not bad, but hardly a masterpiece. Ridley Scott stopped making masterpieces long, long ago :)

    Well, imo, obviously.
    Well, I'm not conventional when it comes to Ridley Scott.
    I love Blade Runner and Alien of course, but Gladiator, while good, is not as fantastic as it was praised back then in my opinion. I found Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) a better movie than Gladiator.
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming - RAM: 16GB Kingston HyperX Savage DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Philips 40PUK6809 4K 3D TV - Second display: Philips 273v 27" gaming monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset and Razer Hydra controllers - Soundcard: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.

  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,207
    DKLond said:
    Kingdom of Heaven DC is not bad, but hardly a masterpiece. Ridley Scott stopped making masterpieces long, long ago :)

    Well, imo, obviously.
    Well, I'm not conventional when it comes to Ridley Scott.
    I love Blade Runner and Alien of course, but Gladiator, while good, is not as fantastic as it was praised back then in my opinion. I found Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) a better movie than Gladiator.
    We all like different things for different reasons.

    Personally, I found Kingdom of Heaven a bit of a mess - and its treatment of religion was a bit too naive for my tastes. Also, Orlando Bloom can't act to save his life.

    But I guess that's for another thread.
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,057
    edited May 2016
    Iselin said:
    H0urg1ass said:
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
    Hopefully we get a Director's Cut on the Blu-Ray disc.
    It's not the first time the suits ruined an excellent movie by forcing drastic cuts. For instance, "Kingdom of Heaven" from Ridley Scott is an average movie in its theater version, and is in my opinion a true masterpiece in the Director's Cut on DVD/Blu-Ray.
    I loved Kingdom of Heaven. Luckily I never saw it in the theater and have only seen the director's cut.

    It was also the first time I ever noticed Eva Green. It was love at first sight... and I don't mean just because she's a hottie, I love her acting.
    Eva Green as Vesper Lind: "I am the money."
    Daniel Craig as James Bond: "Every penny of it."

    B)
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming - RAM: 16GB Kingston HyperX Savage DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Philips 40PUK6809 4K 3D TV - Second display: Philips 273v 27" gaming monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset and Razer Hydra controllers - Soundcard: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.

  • VolgoreVolgore Member EpicPosts: 3,872
    Iselin said:
    It was also the first time I ever noticed Eva Green. It was love at first sight... and I don't mean just because she's a hottie, I love her acting.
    Eva Green as Vesper Lind: "I am the money."
    Daniel Craig as James Bond: "Every penny of it."

    I rate her feet 6/10.

    image
  • NightHaveNNightHaveN Member UncommonPosts: 1,051
    edited June 2016
    H0urg1ass said:
    Every review I've read or watched said the Orcs were great in their roles and humans were just.... meh. Judging by who they cast, I'm not surprised.

    You said it feels 20-30 minutes too short, and there's an interview with the director up today where he said he was forced to cut 40 minutes of footage.  I bet the characterization is in that footage.
    The problem with the humans were the acting itself. In many of them like King Jane & Lothar, the acting looked fake. Like they were reading the lines of the script, but didn't believed in the role or the lines.

    The orcs on the other hand stole the show. Looked convincing, and like you will imagine them if you have played in the horde side.

    The story is ok for those not too deep into the Warcraft lore. But the over fanatics will be cursing a lot for the changes.

    There were some attempts at jokes like a punch line said after a polymorph spell, but IMO they should leave that to MCU. They are the only ones that can mix serious and comedy well.

    The action is good, the CGI even better. And yes it has potential.
  • NightHaveNNightHaveN Member UncommonPosts: 1,051
    edited June 2016
    But since I wasn't that deep into the lore, and don't mind rewritings much since kind of comics do it every few years, found is a good movie overall, even with the bad acting of humans, and the general Hollywood formula that can be seen in the movie (no Demon Blood for example).

    IMO the best action movie of the year after Cap 3.  But like Cap, the pacing is slow sometimes.
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