Wednesday, June 15, 2016

[Review] Warcraft

Director Duncan Jones is responsible for one of the more provocative sci-fi films of the last 10 years, Moon. (Fun fact: He's also David Bowie's son.) He followed that with the time-bending thriller Source Code. Like Gareth Edwards (Godzilla [2014]) and Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), he's now taken the leap to a lofty franchise. I'll preface this by saying I've never played a minute of Warcraft in my life, but I can tell you what I think of the movie. And it's not good.

In the World of Warcraft, there's been "A war between Orcs and humans for as long as can be remembered." We begin from the perspective of the Orcs, where we meet Durotan (Toby Kebbell) and Draka (Anna Galvin) as they're expecting their first child. Apparently the Orc race is dying out, so the clan of tusked warriors band together and warp through a portal to another dimension filled with human soldiers (most notably Travis Fimmel), sorcerers (Ben Foster, Ben Schnetzer), and a king (Dominic Cooper). And you guessed it--war ensues.

Both of the main races (Orcs and humans) are developed in an incredibly flat and detached way (calling it "generic" would actually be too generous), so it's difficult to latch onto anything in this cluster of characters. Yes, even big green hulking ogres should possess distinguished traits and interesting personalities--just look at Shrek! Various forms of magic burst out of nowhere without any explicit indication of what the effect is or how it all operates in this undercooked cinematic universe. I couldn't take Ben Foster's wizard character seriously, as he appears to be a mix between Jesse Pinkman and Ozzy Osbourne... on acid. However, he makes for some unintentional hilarity, especially because Foster seems to have checked out of the role before the movie even began.

I didn't find the film's supposedly groundbreaking CGI to be all that spectacular. The motion capture here seems to function better for facial expressions than it does for body movements. For the most part, this thing can't help but feel like the longest video game cutscene ever. Between the convoluted action sequences, unfocused narrative, and the miserable, emotionless tone--the whole thing is virtually an enormous blob of "Who knows or cares what's even happening right now?"

Warcraft is an aggressively vapid piece of fantasy even compared to some of the recent lower-tier stinkers in the genre. It makes movies like Dracula Untold and Seventh Son not look so bad, and that sadly might be the film's greatest accomplishment.

( 3.5/10 )

No comments:

Post a Comment