Release Date June, 10 2016
In “Warcraft” the vibrant rhythm of life that once flowed through the Orc home-world is dying. The devious wizard, Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) has created a portal leading to the peaceful domain of Azeroth. By using the Fel, a poisonous magic that sacrifices lives in exchange for great power, he is able to send the first wave of the Orc Horde to lay siege to the land. The king of Azeroth sends his trusted friend Anduin
Lothar (Travis Fimmel) to summon the guardian of Azeroth in hopes of putting an end to the growing threat. However as the hammers of war loom over Azeroth few suspect the level corruption that has already reached the land’s core.
From the beginning we are shown a tense duel between a man and an Orc. The viewpoint is set from the Orc’s outlook of the situation. Then we are introduced to an intimate moment between two Orcs, Durotan voiced by Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and his mate Draka voiced by Anna Galvin (Legends of Tomorrow/ iZombie). Despite their appearance their casual conversation is denoted by an unexpected love that would normally be reserved for their human counterparts. This is important as it adds a piercing perspective, addressing the “monsters are all evil and humans are all good” stereotype. This fluid truth pools into the deeper actions of the characters. When both sides of a war are shown then a vision of what “peace can look like” and what “peace should look like” become self evident. From Durotan’s point of view finding a new home is paramount especially for the future of his child. From Anduin Lothar’s point of view he wants to protect his friends, the peace of the land and his son. Sacrifice in my opinion is a drumming theme set like precious stone throughout the armored heart of Warcraft. As one world dies, another one world lives. Durotan remembers the life in his world and even though he wants a opportunity for his family he doesn’t want the same dark fate to befall the thriving realm of Azeroth. This movie places on the discussion table what is of value and what is worth losing?
The various characters in the film were interpreted by an excellent cast. Paula Patton (Hitch/2 Guns) promotes a curious intrigue as Garona, “a half-Orc and half something more” warrior. She remains trapped between being an outcast from the Horde and being hesitantly accepted by the humans of Azeroth. She peers into the situations of man through the jaded lens of her Orc upbringing.
Dominic Cooper (Preacher TV series/ Captain America: The First Avenger) performed in royal form as King Llane Wrynn. He not only sought to protect his kingdom but he also ran out on the battlefield to do it with his own two hands.
Ruth Negga (Preacher TV series/ World War Z) was truly and regal as Lady Taria the Queen of the kingdom and wife to King Llane Wrynn. It was easy to see that her best intentions were for the kingdom’s benefit.
Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands TV series )was formidable as Gul’Dan. The magic of the Fel was just the actions of the dark wizard in this movie. It was the lack of care for life and his unwaveringly resolution to expand the influence of the Fel that drove the Horde. Gul’Dan is a memorable fear monger that presents challenges to his allies and his foes.
Ben Schnetzer (The Riot Club /The Book Thief ) wore the cloak of the wide eyed Khadgar. Integral to the story he is a young sorcerer that ran away from the teachings of the Kirin Tor but found himself stuck right in the middle of the dire fight for Azeroth.
Travis Fimmel (Vikings TV series) plays as Anduin Lothar, one of the main human protagonists. He brings a brave persona to the movie which is the same brand of strength that he has exhibited in his character throughout the Viking TV show. Anduin Lothar was humorous, fearless and he rode a loyal griffin. (And truthfully who wouldn’t want to ride a griffin into a battle? )
Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim/Red Tails) voiced the Orc named Orgrim, the friend of Durotan. He agrees with Durotan’s want for change but he questions if it is the best decision to trust humans instead of the Horde. Just a side note, Robert Kazinsky like the other talented voice actors did convincing job of making their characters relatable and dimensional.
Clancy Brown (Hail, Caesar!/The Shawshank Redemption) brought a notable adversary to the screen as he performed the voice for the Orc named Blackhand. This character was a strict follower of the traditional ways of the Orc. He was also the frontline antagonist against the human heroes.
I think every character added something of relevance to the story but as I watched the film I was able to forgo the most stunning fact about it. There weren’t any Orcs, there wasn’t any waves of magic or a glowing giant demon gate of amassing energy. That was all Hollywood magic with well trained actors, motion capture recording and green screens creating the digital pillars of a fantastic world. So the beautiful aspect of the motion picture is the amount of dream work that was packed into it, making what was only pixels and game-play into a touchable reality. The graphic computers for the movie’s special effects department must of been overheating because the Orcs slammed, rushed and wreaked havoc as if they were actually living beings. Director Duncan Jones (Moon/Source Code) performed many feats of magic behind the camera. In my opinion his version of Warcraft is W.o.W (W.orld O.f W.arcraft) and it is also “wow” as in the term of enthusiasm. As far as this film is concerned the story concluded with all the pieces on the chess board. Kings, Queens, pawns, and knights. When the theme of Warcraft ended the foundation for any future films was richly cemented in both drama and fantasy, especially the fate of the Durotan’s son. The underlying focus on him promises an interesting destiny that we’ll hopefully see in future films.
To be straightforward, you won’t need to play hours of Warcraft to enjoy this movie. Kirin Tor, Stormwind, and Draenor may sound foreign to you but you won’t need a strategy guide to understand the emotional conflicts that fuel the combat between the Horde and Humans. All you’ll need is the desire to enjoy the wild swings of medieval weapons, a story of pure fantasy and if you have a little imagination, then that helps too.
Directed by Duncan Jones Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar
Paula Patton as Garona
Daniel Wu as Gul’dan
Ben Foster as Medivh
Dominic Cooper as Llane Wrynn
Toby Kebbell as Durotan
Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar
Robert Kazinsky as Orgrim
Clancy Brown as Blackhand
Ruth Negga as Lady Taria
Anna Galvin as Draka
For more information please visit: warcraftmovie.com