‘Warcraft’ Review

Directed by Duncan Jones

Written by Charles Leavitt, Duncan Jones, and Chris Metzen

Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Daniel Wu, and Glenn Close

★☆☆

While watching “Warcraft”, it is evident Hollywood still has not been able to crack the code of movies based on video games. “Warcraft” is certainly not the “Citizen Kane” of high fantasy – that honor belongs to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy – but, “Warcraft” is also not an unwatchable piece of junk.

The strength of “Warcraft” is the direction of Duncan Jones. Jones delivers a movie with strong CGI and great visuals and thank god for that. With not much else going for the movie “Warcraft” needed to have a strong showing from the director. The amazing thing about Jones’ direction of “Warcraft” was the way that he was able to use the world of “Warcraft” to his advantage. Jones drops you in this world as it exists at that time; you do not need an extensive history lesson on the world to be vested in the world. The lack of this history lesson in the movie is the element in “Warcraft” that keeps it from crossing the threshold into something that is unwatchable.

In the back nine – I use the golf analogy instead of the three act thing – of “Warcraft” something happens with one of the characters that left me perplexed. I did not know to what extent this character was involved in this plot point or what his motivations for being involved in this plot point. This confusing plot point is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the movies bad writing. There are a couple of shoehorned subplots involving a love story between Paula Patton and Travis Fimmel and something with Travis Fimmel’s son. The love story goes nowhere, and the thing with the son felt out of place. Then there is the Orc stuff, which like 75 percent of the Orc did not need to be there. The unnecessary Orc stuff brought the movie to a halt. After the 25 percent of the Orc stuff that you need for the movie, I just did not care about them or their stories.

Luckily for “Warcraft,” its franchise dreams are still alive because of its strong performance in China. That is if we assume that the strong Chinese numbers are strong enough to offset its tepid performance in other markets. Which would not be a bad thing, because I want to see the “Lord of the Rings”-esque version of the “Ten Commandments” that Jones set up with Orc Moses, subjectively speaking. What is not awesome about that? Overall, I did not hate watching “Warcraft,” despite its weaknesses in the script department. The direction of Duncan Jones makes it more than worthwhile to see. Just do not expect to see “Citizen Kane.” One final note, the only thing missing from “Warcraft” was the Sword of a Thousand Truths.

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