Certain to unite parent’s basement-dwelling gamers and code-crunching crackpots the world over, this Lord of the Rings-meets-Avatar-by way of-Braveheart hodgepodge brazenly bumbles its way to the big screen with oafishly misguided self-delight. Based on the 1994 online, multiplayer, adventure game and its many iterations (that I’ve never played), it’s sure to please a majority of its rabid, built-in fan base – despite It’s many critical detractors (seriously, most critics hate it) having their way with it like a puncture-wounded and broomstick bruised cinematic piñata. To be fair, it is a somewhat shallow, occasionally cheesy and often manufacturedly-muddled mythological mess – overstuffed with lethargic lore in an unveiled attempt to create some type of fan boy-drooling franchise. All that aside – which admittedly is hard to put aside – I found myself somewhat intrigued by a few of the performances, the epic battles, the thunderous score and it’s dazzlingly life-like special effects. That stuff worked for me more often than not, but I can see it totally not working for others. …and by the end, with an obvious set-up for part two hanging in the balance I was ultimately a tad intrigued by what’s to come. Easy to dismantle on the grounds of it being goofily derivative, Warcraft still possessed a bizarrely ambitious frivolity that kept some of my interest for some of its running time – just not quite enough for me to find it anything more than a just above average Orcian outing.
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Robert Kazinsky and Paula Patton
Directed by: Duncan Jones (MOON and SOURCE CODE)
Running time: 1hr. 40min.
Story: The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.