Rating: 2 ½ /5
To original fans, adapting popular video games for the big screen has often been a losing battle. While staying fairly accurate to the franchise on which Warcraft is based, Duncan Jones attempts to recreate Lord of the Rings, Avatar and Star Wars. The result: yet another cringeworthy video game movie.
Surely, LOTR enthusiasts will take note of Warcraft’s many unashamed resemblances to the trilogy. An example is the clear likeness between Denethor and the post-possessed guardian Medivh (Ben Foster). As for acting, Foster’s performance stands out considering how stale the script is. Medivh’s duplicity even runs the storyline, albeit too slowly.
Unfortunately, the film is plagued with characters relaying information to each other. Thus, audiences are immediately reminded of facts stated in preceding scenes.
The IMAX format can’t even salvage the viewing experience. If anything, it momentarily draws your attention away from the story’s cheesy motto.
Thankfully, director Duncan Jones does not weigh down viewers with orc language too. Although the creatures’ utterances are subtitled, most of their ideas are ultimately expressed in plain English.
Also, designated action girl/orc interpreter Paula Patton makes the most of her two-dimensional role throughout the picture. Really, it is always a pity to see decent actors in lame roles. Even though Jones tries to show tension between her character and Lothar (Travis Fimmel), their interactions come off as forced.
A peeve was definitely Ben Schnetzer’s boyish portrayal of Khadgar in the first half of the movie. Despite having the braininess of Hermione Granger, Khadgar manages to cripple the fantasy world’s credibility.
In sum, fans of the games may revel in nostalgia at the sight of Warcraft but the film won’t win over new supporters of the Horde.