Warcraft trailer – reaction

WarcraftteaserReleased next June, Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones’ adaptation of the Blizzard Entertainment video game Warcraft stars, as the humans, Dracula Untold‘s Dominic Cooper, Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel, Pandorum‘s Ben Foster, Misfits‘ Ruth Negga and Battlestar Galactica‘s Calum Keith Rennie and, as the orcs flooding into their realm via the Dark Portal, Starship Troopers‘ Clancy Brown, The East‘s Toby Kebbel, Pacific Rim‘s Robert Kazinsky and Europa Report‘s Daniel Wu.

Also starring Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘s Paula Patton and X-Men‘s Daniel Cudmore and with a soundtrack from Game of Thrones‘ Ramin Djawadi, the first trailer was released last week showing the war descending upon the realm of Azeroth as the orcs flee their dying world of Draenor, leading them into conflict with the indigenous humans. The team have viewed the trailer, and to say they are not enthusiastic is somewhat generous.

Warcraftteaser1Les Anderson – Not being a gamer I have no knowledge of the source material so will have to rely solely on what’s presented in this trailer.

I’m afraid to say that I find all fantasy films depressingly similar to look at these days and this is no exception. It might be due to the heavy use of CGI but I see nothing original in this.

It certainly appears polished and well-made but there is no enticement for me to pay out to see this at the cinema.

Warcraftteaser9Dario Persechino – Creating a movie based on a video game is a gamble that rarely pays off; this looks to me to be no exception to that.

If they just had a minute of humans and orcs battering each other across nice CGI worlds I would have been happy to go along to watch it to enjoy something fun, pretty and brainless. Instead they seem to want to force a plot in, and try to create a story with pathos and empathy across species as the slightly more emotive orc appeals for peace. Yawn!

It brings back bad memories of Avatar. There are some things you shouldn’t try to CGI animate unless you are going to go full-Gollum, and one of those is emotional creatures. Unless you really put the work in it’s just going to look like a cheap cutscene from a game, and no one will care.

Warcraftteaser4I really can’t see myself giving two hoots if peace loving orc or generic human prince guy buddy up and save the world. I don’t think green baby is going to pluck on my heartstrings unless he turns out to be a baby Hulk and says “puny god” as he wallops someone.

I would much rather just see them smash the hell out of each other with Warhammers and magic than some wannabe emotionally faked drivel.

I can’t see much other than alcohol getting me to sit through this.

Warcraftteaser6Michael Flett – I’m guessing that this is aimed firmly at a gaming audience and has no desire to move beyond that gaming audience of which I am most conspicuously not one, as everything in it looks unreal. Lord of the Rings moved towards a less rose-tinted representation of fantasy (before being undermined by the artificiality of the sodding Hobbit movies), following where the written genre was going (Joe Abercrombie and Richard Morgan, we’re looking at both of you gratefully) and Game of Thrones showed that fantasy can be done in a setting which feels physically real, but this looks like it’s someone’s drug fantasy.

It’s quite the departure for Duncan Jones, who frankly was my only hope on this. I adored Moon, which I thought was one of the most interesting and personal science fiction films of the last decade but I hated Source Code, the script of which was just utter, unsupportable nonsense which required the audience to not think at all about any aspect of it, but this is something different again… and it looks bad.

Warcraftteaser8I’m getting Lord of the Rings. And Shrek. And also Dungeons and Dragons, though not quite as wretched as that movie, but, let’s face it, what could be? Significantly, I am not getting any desire to see it. There also seems to be… a conference table. In a conference room. All together now: “I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!”

I’m reminded of when the media were raving about Avatar, how realistic everything was, a completely immersive environment, and I was just – seriously? It looked like a cartoon, and so does this. I’m expecting an army of Care Bears to arrive any moment. Human babies, orc babies – “won’t someone think of the children?” Nope, not me.

Warcraftteaser5What it reinforces in me is all the reasons I prefer science fiction to fantasy; science fiction is about new ideas, about seeing things differently, about change, good and bad, whereas for the most part traditional fantasy plays the same games out in marginally different settings and calls them something new.

This has such a good cast but I just do not care. Not unless Travis, Ben and Dominic are having nekkid time. I have better things to do with my life than spend two hours on this.

I do feel bad for Toby, though, who like Andy Serkis before him seems destined to only be able to demonstrate how good an actor he is through the cognitive dissonance mask of motion capture.

Warcraftteaser7Already I’m more interested in Duncan Jones next project, Mute, due 2017, which he announced just before this trailer was released.

Adam Dworak – I was never a interested in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, but in my young days I played a lot in Warcraft 3 which was not bad strategy game and I remember one specific thing, that Blizzard were creating fantastic and beautiful CGI cutscenes.

And that’s just what this movie looks like, a beautifully made cutscene from a video game. From a gamer’s point of view it looks stunning but as a standalone cinematic movie it is just pointless, plastic and artificial, a mutated crossbreed between Avatar and Lord Of The Rings. Still I am sure the hardcore fans who have been calling for it for years and undemanding children will enjoy it, but they’re not exactly a discerning audience.

Warcraft is scheduled for release on 10th June, 2016

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