This not the greatest review in the world - it's just a tribute.
First off let me say unashamedly that I am biased towards fantasy in general. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good kick in the goonies with a bite of reality now and again. Those fantastic flicks where one man struggles against the toughest of situations like been eaten by a grizzly, nice one Dicaprio - and thank goodness he finally has his precious. However, on any other day, a fantasy adventure sci-fi thing is my thing.
What Duncan Jones, (director of this here picture) picked up was no small mountain. World of Warcraft is one of the biggest franchises is the world. To give you an idea - Blizzard Activision make around $150 million a month on subscription fees alone. According to a google search, which is obviously as reliable as Donald Trump's hair piece, Blizzard are currently worth in estimation of 30.7B. The B stands for Billion. This info is from Blizzard’s main shareholders company website, so probably a little reliable.
The budget for this small title was a $160m. Okay so it’s not as much as Batman v Superman at $250m or Avatar at $400m. Still I think you’ll agree with me for the most part that £160m is no small chunk of change. Then there is the fan base. These are probably some of the most dedicated fans on our planet. I’ve heard some horrific stories of people playing for weeks on end, losing jobs and disconnecting from the world entirely because of how addicted they were to the world of warcraft.
So bearing that all in mind what I want to say is, Duncan Jones you dah man!
The film starts off with an epic narrative explanation of the origins of a dying orc world. A portal is opened into the peaceful realm of Azeroth. The inhabitants soon find out how ferocious and formidable an orc army really is. They have never faced an enemy like this and it soon becomes apparent they are fighting for their very survival. What struck me first about this film was the orcs. I don’t know what images you conjure up in the depths of your imagination when someone mentions the word “Orc”. My mind goes quickly to the not so pretty or particularly smart orcs of Middle Earth. Which is not surprising after a plethora of films and books by the late Mr Tolkien and Peter Jackson, I think my mind can be forgiven. What I found my eyes staring at however was an entirely new creation. Well that is what it felt like for me. I am a newb when it comes to the world of warcraft world so had no ideas what to expect.
Each character seemed defined to me. From metal studded rings on their tusks to small celtic like tattoos on their faces. They depicted something more viking-esque than anything else.
Their family archetype reminded me of the Apache Indians. Very intimate families crossed with lethal fighting machines. And I do mean lethal. Think Hulk crossed with with a viking and then add the feels. The film introduces a species that we aren’t used to seeing. This might be one of the reasons that some found the film to be terrible. For me this is something fresh and much needed to the orc species as a whole. The story drags you into a roller coaster adventure where you love and hate both sides. In essence it's a Romeo and Juliet story on a biblical scale. In blockbuster films you can sometimes lose any connection to the characters because of the grand size of the flick. This does not happen with Warcraft. The story unfolds beautifully. From the rise of an anti-hero to the fall of a nation. This film has everything you could want to escape from reality for a couple of hours. Blizzard and Duncan did not skimp out. They gave everything they had to this project. Like a great present to the fans, saying thank you for supporting us all these years. I walked in believing the hype about warcraft, expectant that again I would be disappointed by a sub-par game to movie film. Instead I walked out of the cinema ready to walk back in, which is often the mark of a great film.
I could go on and on about more of the story, how the special effects will blow your mind. How blizzards cuts scenes in games have mostly been something to behold but I won't. I could go on about how Duncan Jones directed a little indie film called Moon but I won't.
Instead I’ll say don’t believe the hype, because it’s not a good hype. Rather put on the film’s soundtrack from your spotify or itunes account and if that floats your boat, then this story is probably for you.
Go and watch it for yourself. When’s the last time you forgot you were watching a film in a cinema, this one did that for me and might do that for you to.
Ruben Lee Shaw