Warcraft: The Beginning

warcraftBased on the game by Blizzard, who also produced the film, Warcraft is definitely for players of the MMO or fans of the fantasy genre. If you’re someone who jumped on the Lord of the Rings bandwagon as a poser just because it was popular, you’re going to hate this film. If you fall into the former category, you’re probably going to dig it, I know I did but I was also an avid player of the game for a few years.

Set in the world of Azeroth, the orc race find themselves in an exodus leaving their dying world coming to a new one to conquer and take for their own. The human race on the other hand is scrambling to survive as the orcs flood over their lands through a portal conjured by the orc leader who is bent on death and destruction over communication and compromise. That’s the basic crux of the story. Now for the fun stuff – if you ever played the game, you’re totally going to geek out on the detail. The races are all there including a nod to the draenei early on, but so are all the other details like the clothing, the buildings, the interior designs of places like Stormwind, everything. It’s so damn enjoyable to watch and pick out all the things you’ve either seen or interacted with as a player.

The effects are amazingly realistic, the CG characters are especially impressive to the point where it was tough to tell where the effects ended and the practical footage began. The sets from the film are directly pulled from the gaming environment and are modeled beautifully. You can tell this is where most of the massive $160M budget went because there are no huge name actors in here.

Speaking of the actors…While they’re may not be any Clooneys or Pitts, you won’t miss them as the actors that are in the film are great. Everyone brings a passion and intensity to their delivery including the voice actors who play the CG roles. The lineup includes Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, Clancy Brown, and Anna Galvin.

While the film tanked in the US, don’t take that as a measure of the film, the US has pretty lame mainstream taste most of the time movie-wise. The film crushed everywhere else for a reason…

reviewed by Sean McKnight