By Christian DiMartino
“Ooh that smell, that smell of death surrounds you.” -Lynyrd Skynyrd
There’s no better way to describe Warcraft, director Duncan Jones’ ten megaton bomb that smells so bad it could choke a maggot. How could Jones, the son of my favorite musician, David Bowie, have gone so wrong? His first two films, Moon and Source Code, showed real promise. But Warcraft feels like the product of a visionary being restrained. I’m hoping this is the studios doing.
This is one of those unfortunate projects in which everyone involved probably thought they were in for something good. But like Super Mario Brothers and Resident Evil before it, Warcraft proves, once again, that video games don’t make compelling films.
And this is where some of you will throw your hands up in frustration. I have a confession to make: I have never played any form of World of Warcraft game. And with that, you’ll either say, “oh you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about” or “get out of here fatass” or “you suck.” And you have every right to. But I judged the film as a film itself, and what I got was an incomprehensible, boring, visually stunning, but turgid botch.
I said it was incomprehensible, and I don’t know if I can stress that enough. I would say that it’s because I haven’t played the game… But the people I was with have played it, and were just as lost as I was. And even if that was the case, shouldn’t they be trying to reel outsiders in? Aren’t they supposed to convert non-fans? I saw no attempt in that, and honestly, I can’t see how Warcraft will please anyone.
So I can’t really jump into the story, because I don’t know what the hell its about. It had my attention for maybe 15 minutes. In the opening minutes, we learn that there’s an ongoing war between humans and orcs. And then a pregnant Orc gives birth. Everyone gasps at first, and I assumed it was because the baby didn’t look like the father. I was wrong about that (though I’m still not convinced).
And as for the rest… Yeah I got nothing. I was wondering why Jesus showed up to this movie… Until I realized it was Ben Foster. Dominic Cooper plays the king. Paula Patton plays a half Orc half human (and she’s got this Amy Winehouse look going on). Apparently Clancy Brown and Toby Kebbel were in it too. Glenn Close shows up too. All I know is that after this weekend, all of their managers are gonna get smacked.
Visually, the film hits it’s mark. And there’s a few amusing set pieces. But it really just feels like a poor mans Lord of the Rings. Though comparisons to John Carter or- worse- The Last Airbender, are welcomed. I found myself yawning and rolling my head a lot. Oh, and I laughed occasionally, but not at their attempts at humor. It really just refuses to end.
So yeah, if you couldn’t tell, I didn’t exactly, um, “enjoy” Warcraft. I thought it was kind of insufferable. I realize I might get heat, since I technically don’t know what I’m talking about. But I’m judging Warcraft as an outsider, and I’ll tell ya, I wouldn’t watch this film again if it was playing in my glasses.