Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)

Warcraft

‘Warcraft’ tells the story of orcs invading a different world as theirs is dying, in the process the world they are invading is ruled over by men whom deem the orcs a threat and thus a war is caused.

The film takes an interesting approach to the story in that there is no determined good side or bad side as both sides seem reasonable in their ideas and for the most part, justified in their actions. It is only when dark magic is introduced that a proper antagonist is produced. This is very refreshing, especially for a high fantasy film where there are usually very clear cut lines of who is the audience protagonist and the antagonist.

The film is shot beautifully, with many sweeping exposition shots as well as visceral battle scenes, even with some of the wonky CGI some of the imagery is breathtaking and really gives a sense of scope to this whole world.

All of the performances are great and thoroughly convincing, with no weak link, the cast gelled together perfectly to really add to the feel of the film and made it feel like quite an epic film. The script enhanced the performances even more with some great dialogue that helped set the tone for the entire film.

The pacing was great, it flowed pretty much perfectly though it started to sag in the middle but that ramped straight up once the film hit its third act, with all this grand spectacle coming to a collision the tensions was built up significantly enough where the stakes seemed serious.

The film also does a great job of introducing a general audience to this world as personally, I’ve never played a Warcraft game, yet I feel none of the story elements went over my head. No doubt there were deeper references for long time fans, much like with Marvel films, but the core story, the characters, the emotions were all laid out simply yet very effectively.

It is not often that a film executes what it sets out to do so well that it feels deserving of a sequel, the world was built up perfectly with so many possibilities, that although it did rather poorly at the box office, it truly deserves a sequel and, in the hands of Duncan Jones, it could even be better than this film.

The film is fun, filled with some great action, some wonky CGI but with a real heart and while not as good as the pinnacle of high fantasy films, it’s no slouch either and is far and away better than hundreds of other films of this ilk.

7/10

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