Warcraft Review: An Assault on Modern Filmmaking


Last week, I went on a great vacation with some friends and did the hardest thing imaginable: I didn’t go to the movies for five days.

Going home after vacation and playing catch-up with all of the new releases is always fun. Did something live up to its hype, whether bad or good? Was it worth the extra couple days of waiting?

The first movie I saw was Duncan Jones’ Warcraft. While the movie certainly has its supporters, it does sit at a 27-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 4.1 out of 10. Not the worst but not exactly a glowing recommendation.

Frankly, it’s surprising that Warcraft is that “high” on the Tomatometer because, in fact, it actually is kind of the worst. It’s everything that is wrong with modern day filmmaking. It’s big and loud for the sake of being so, lacking any kind of cogency for its two-hour runtime. Watching a bunch of Orcs beat their chests for two hours will eventually wear on you.

Effects-driven extravaganzas can be fun and exciting but there has to be some kind of story or emotional pull supporting the computer wizardry. Look at the most recent Captain America installment; it managed to melt stunning effects with a emotional tale of two friends at odds with each other.

Warcraft is particularly disappointing because its writer-director has shown such great promise with just two films. His 2009 debut, Moon, was a great spin on a familiar tale and Source Code was a thought-provoking puzzle of an action movie. With Warcraft, he was given a lot of money to play with and his ambitions ran dangerously amok. It’s a big spectacle without a single redeeming quality.

I should have taken notes during Warcraft because everyone has a bonkers name or looks alike, it’s hard to distinguish who is who and what anyone’s motivations are. After a while, I just stopped forcing myself to care. Those who played the video game, from which the movie is adapted from, will probably have no issue following along. For those new to this terrain, it’s just a hideous mess of greens and browns. It all looks like a cheesy mid-2000s video game on the big screen.

According to Jones’ IMDb page, he’s already in pre-production on his next film. The one line description seems more interesting than anything he accomplished here. I believed Jones was a promising filmmaker after I saw Moon and I will continue to believe that, hoping to leave Warcraft in the rearview mirror.

0 out of 10




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