Firstly I want to apologise for seemingly having abandoned my blog. I have not. I am not a wuss. I can do this shit. It’s just that work and events have enabled me from both watching films and writing about them so it’s been kind of slow. Luckily, with one massive solo marathon in the cinema and tiring its employees with the ‘oh god she still hasn’t left’ I am almost caught up with recent cinema events and I can give my blog a fresh new start.
So yes. World of Warcraft. The big gamerverse film that had the possibility of breaking the barriers between videogames and cinema and make something that is actually worth watching. Since my entire knowledge of World of Warcraft is based on that one episode from South Park, I am not one of the enthusiasts that left the cinema with a hard on and I can only speak from film experience and truthfully, Warcraft had a lot to work on. Sorry, warriors.
So Warcraft starts from the very beginning, when humans and orcs were still living peacefully apart from each other in other worlds. The orcs are not in a great position since pretty much all good stuff has been drained from their world, so the oldest and ugliest of them all, Gul’dan, works his magic with a power called the Fel and leads them through a portal to the human worlds where they could all live happily again. The humans, of course, aren’t very fond of the idea and start prepping for battle with special forces Lothar, your average sassy hero, Khadgar, a mage-in-puberty and Medivh, the protector who does a great job at it by hiding far away. While they gather to fight, things in the Orcs camp are also not easy, where clan leader Durotan starts to question the intentions of Gul’dan and tries to find his own path.
Again, I should state that I know pretty much nothing about the actual game World of Warcraft. It’s one of the biggest games in the world and it has thousands of fans, who all could not wait for a film version of their fave pastime activity. It’s a pretty obvious move of the makers to put in all these little references and things that make the fans feel exciting feels. It’s just a big shame that these things do not really get across to the general cinema audience. Probably about 75 percent of the fun in the film is related to actual game stuff, making it pretty hard for nongamers to be in on the gags. If you then look at the things in cinema perspective, you will honestly not find that much special. Cliché is the word you’re looking for. Nine and a half out of ten things are predictable, there’s a brooding but still lively enough to be sassy hero with a sad background story (his wife died, what a shocker), a son who’s just trying to make daddy proud, the ambitious but inexperienced teen whose silly little mistakes are (questionable) comedy gold… let’s not even begin about the whopping number of 3 whole women in the entire film (4 if you count that one chick that carries a chest with Lothar who is obviously there to increase the female quota), of which the most important one walks around in a skin tight bikini and who out of the human/orc mix is just enough woman to be true fap-material. We’ve seen it all; it’s not surprising anymore, just a little irritating. A big hit like this could have met its expectations a little better on the cinematic front.
Animation and action wise, Warcraft is pretty great. The big rough landscapes look amazing and, admirably, not even fake. Even the city of Stormwind, which contains impossible towers and almost cutesie medieval houses, looks pretty great from the overview perspectives. The CGI in the characters is pretty epic too, the orcs look scary as shit and although Gul’dan still
has a huge videogame-look to him he is a cool sight to behold. The battles are grotesque and spectacular and I haven’t felt that much love for a griffin since Harry Potter. I’m not that big on fighter games but scenes like that could possibly persuade me to start liking them anyway. Now if the rest would have matched the quality of the visuals, it might have gotten more of my stars.
I get it, guys. I’d also be hella excited if they made a film of Animal Crossing or the first Harry Potter pc game (wait.) so I’m not here to diminish the flames in your hearts. The truth is that looking solely from a cinematic perspective, Warcraft isn’t very special. There’s clichés after clichés after clichés, which gets a little tiring after a while and is something that even great visuals can’t fix. Making a film for the fans is a good idea, no doubt about that, but you’d think they’d try to make it a little more accessible for the general audience like they’ve been promoting. For me, the videogame curse hasn’t been broken, but with the increasing love for videogames in the world it is only a matter of time before a true hero comes along and sweeps us all off our gamer-feet.