Warcraft (AKA Warcraft: The Beginning)
Dir: Duncan Jones
Goblins, Dragons and Knights has never really been my thing. When I was a kid I was into Space, Astronauts and Dinosaurs, I loved sci-fi and didn't really go in for Lord of the Ring type stories. I certainly never got into the World of Warcraft but I always felt a little envious of the kids who did get into it. I was always a bit of a nerd as a kid (and even more so as an adult) but World of Warcraft was always seen as the limit. That's when nerdism goes too far I thought, and yet, those kids who were into it were part of a group, they lived it and were totally enveloped by it. I'm always envious of other people’s passion, it doesn't matter what their passion is but to be so absorbed and stimulated by that one thing is something that I've always wanted. However, I wanted a girlfriend more and didn't want to get beaten up by the bigger boys at school, so I kept well away from Warcraft. Until now. I have limited knowledge of the actual story behind Warcraft but I understand the basics and I imagine there would be many stories you could tell. Initial reviews of the film had me believe that the film was clichéd and predictable but I couldn't disagree more. I found the trailer to be refreshingly misleading in fact, as I didn't see any of the plot twists coming and I was entertained throughout. Some of the CGI wasn't great, mostly the internal background stuff but the creatures and everything else was outstanding. The editing was painfully jumpy at first, again during the internal scenes, but it soon became the epic it promised to be. I thought the story was quite refreshing considering it had Orcs, Knights and Kings, the script was far from what you'd expect from the genre, as were the characters. It wasn't a simple Men vs Orcs battle that one would expect either, the story is layered and so are the characters. There is a certain level of subtle humour throughout as well which I particularly enjoyed and I would hazard a guess that Duncan Jones was a fan of Army of Darkness and Monty Python's Holy Grail. I think casting a lesser-known group of actors was a good idea, all do a great job and I can see many of them earning success for the franchise, and I believe this really is the start of something good. The film is left in the balance and I wanted to know what happens next immediately. It's a great start to a series that I think has legs. Duncan Jones is clearly the sort of creative force you want when making this kind of film and he does it justice. It's not just a colour by numbers adaptation of a board game, it's got everything you could possibly want from an epic of this genre and more. I was pleasantly surprised and rather impressed.