Reviewed by: Gabriel Mohler
|Featuring:|| Travis Fimmel … Anduin Lothar
Paula Patton … Garona
Ben Foster … Medivh
Dominic Cooper … Llane Wrynn
Toby Kebbell … Durotan / Antonidas
Ben Schnetzer … Khadgar
Robert Kazinsky … Orgrim
Clancy Brown … Blackhand
Daniel Wu … Gul'dan
Ruth Negga … Lady Taria
|Director:||Duncan Jone—“Source Code” (2011), “Moon” (2009)|
“Two worlds. One destiny.”
What standards does a movie have to meet to be good? The first thing a Biblical Christian would say is that it can’t consistently reinforce any messages that run contrary to the Bible, and that it can’t have gratuitous sex, nudity, profanity, or offensive violence. And I agree that a movie has to meet those standards to be good, but I would add that just because a movie meets those standards doesn’t make it good.
Take “Warcraft” for instance. It’s a pretty clean movie. Come to think of it, it’s probably one of the cleaner movies I’ve seen in a long time, other than the violence. The only bad language is one use of b*stard and hell, and the only thing sexual in nature is a wholesome scene in which an orc lovingly strokes his wife’s pregnant belly, plus some cleavage and shirtless males.
There are some pretty intense battle sequences, but the violence doesn’t reach the levels of extreme because there is barely any blood. Most of the stabbings and deaths are offscreen, and on the few occasions when anything more is shown, it’s done to an orc (thus making it less disturbing than if it was done to a human). I’ve never played the video game, but I hear it’s more violent than the movie.
For teens on up, there’s barely anything to worry about, except this: Is the movie worth your time? Personally, just staying awake through this film was drudgery for me. It really tries to tell a story with good dialog, but there is nothing original about the plot. It’s just another war between humans and fantasy creatures. The orcs aren’t really scary, but they are unpleasantly ugly.
To be fair, there are some positive messages to be drawn from the film about living in peace. There is also a (sort-of?) sacrifice at the end, although it comes with questionable messages about war and killing. Some Christians may also want to be aware that fantasy magic is used.
While good does win over evil, this film has nothing new or thought-provoking to offer. It’s more eye candy than anything else. And on that note, I WAS impressed with the CGI. The movement, talking, and special effects are very believable. But watching this movie felt like wasting two hours straight playing a video game. Hmmm, I wonder why?
I guess I could recommend this film to fans of the video game. They’ll probably enjoy seeing the animated figures come to life in a movie plot. But it will probably be an insult to general fantasy film fans, who know a good fantasy film when they see it. “The Fellowship of the Ring,” anyone?
Violence: Very Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…Jones’s take on the “Warcraft” universe is little more than a bargain-basement rehash of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth, with wall-to-wall, often cheap-looking CGI serving as an unhappy substitute for the New Zealand landscape. The result is a realm at once overstuffed with space-filling flourishes and strangely empty, a world so relentlessly synthetic it's hard to get a grasp on and thus even harder to care about. …
—James Lattimer, Slant
…Hollywood’s habit of turning hit videogames into unwatchable movies continues unabated. …this pricey and preposterous adaptation of an online gaming phenomenon was preordained for artistic mediocrity…
—Geoff Berkshire, Variety
…With an emphasis on craft over war, the characters are front and center, and those that are partly digital creations are among its most memorable. They have heart. …a striking blend of pricey practical and digital effects…
—Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
…In the end, WARCRAFT is an enjoyable ride, but some strong action violence and the magical elements warrant extreme caution.
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…So many things make it hard to go with the flow in this video-game adaptation… [2/5]
—Charlotte O'Sullivan, London Evening Standard
…The Warcraft movie is naff fantasy in shiny, technicolour armour… If you take delight in names like “Orgrim Doomhammer” and have a high tolerance for randomly scattered apostrophes and superfluous “h”’s, it could be your film of the summer. If not, you should avoid it at all costs. …[2/5]
—Helen O'Hara, Empire [UK]
…anything but magical… Somebody should have put this script to the sword. … [1½/5]
—Ethan Sacks,·New York Daily News
…derivative, relentlessly dull-witted computer game spin-off… the effect of the overstuffed plotting and cacophonous score is like being bludgeoned by the war hammers of a thousand orcs. … [2/5]
—Wendy Ide, The Guardian (UK)
“Warcraft” is a rather shocking misfire, a jumbled and narratively wonky bit of would-be fantasy world-building that is darn near impenetrable to anyone not deeply entrenched in its source material. …
—Scott Mendelson, Forbes
…Duncan Jones tragically stultifying fantasy is hard to pin down—picture a film in which most of the antagonists wear buckets on their heads and you’re halfway there… It generates no great pleasure to reveal the wretchedness of this grand enterprise. Hundreds of very talented technicians have laboured hard to produce the largely horrible images. …
—Donald Clarke, The Irish Times
…An epic fantasy adventure with all the trimmings—but none of the personality… Much of the problem lies with the cast—Travis Fimmel is a walking charisma void… [2/5]
—Tom Huddleston, Time Out London