The US premiere of the Warcraft movie was last weekend and I was given the opportunity to attend!
The movie has now been released in most major countries, so I felt it was time to finally give a full analysis and breakdown of the film.
If you haven't seen the movie and want to preserve the story for yourself, this might not be for you. I won't hold back on any of the information that I give in terms of spoilers.
Personally, I have now seen the movie 5 times. The more I see it, the more I love it. One of the main criticisms is that the film doesn't explain things properly, but if you manage to pay attention when the characters are speaking, you can actually piece things together for the parts that matter.
In regards to either 2D or 3D, it's personal preference really. As some of you know, last week I was invited to join a group of other news sites and streamers to attend the Warcraft premiere over in LA. It was my first experience in 3D and I enjoyed it a great deal, but there were moments when the battle scenes were incredibly overwhelming. Personally, I preferred the 2D version for the more intense scenes.
I loved the performance of certain actors, but I didn't quite understand the choice of accents. Lothar, for example, changes his accent about 3 times during filming. The dwarves are another example, where they even sounded English at points. This is a minor problem, but still something that was definitely noticed - especially when Lothar speaks to his son, before Blackhand grabs him and throws him aside in the forest fight. It's a very strange combination of accents.
Visually, the CGI is on-point. The orcs look incredible, the magic is done spectacularly and it just feels... amazing. I can't describe it any other way. This was definitely the high-point of the movie.
All-in-all, I liked it the first time, I loved it the next few times and I really want to go see it again. There are moments in the movie that just feel so epic. Watching Lothar leap off his gryphon into the final battle is simply incredible, especially since it's that Leeroy-esque action of jumping headfirst into a battle you can't win, yet he still walks away.
My first viewing was probably a 8/10, but after a few more viewings, it's up to a 9/10 at least. I absolutely love this movie.
On the whole, it was a hugely enjoyable affair. We left our hotel for a mixer, where we were greeted by everyone's favourite things: food and drink! I managed to meet some serious legends in the Warcraft universe, including Leeroy Jenkins (just saying, incredibly nice guy) and the boys from Songhammer (rock on!).
When we moved on to the red carpet, we stumbled across some truly fantastic cosplayers. We saw a female Deathwing, a Lich Queen and so many more!
Once the sun started to set, the stars started appearing! Jaime Lee Curtis strolled past us in her perfect cosplay, accompanied by her son! Shortly afterwards, Clancy Brown strolled past and gave the cosplayer Varian a small figure of King Llane!
We were also introduced to the wonderful wife of Daniel Wu, who plays Gul'dan. When he initially was auditioning for the role, his wife, who is a huge fan of the game, was so overjoyed. In her words, "her BattleTag will forever be GDogsWife".
As the night went on, the various Blizzard executives and high-profile actors strolled the red carpet, being interviewed and having their photos snapped. One person that stood out in the crowd was Mr. Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, who was wearing a beautiful Hugo Boss suit (yes, this was asked during a developer interview). We know all the important questions to ask!
We were ushered into the theater to get to our seats and prepared for something epic. There were a few shouts of "For the Horde" and "For the Alliance" from the back, but everything went fairly silent when Duncan Jones walked in. Let's talk about him!
Behind every great movie is a great director and behind Warcraft is the fantastic Duncan Jones. I'll start off by saying that I am a huge fan of his previous work, so when he was given the job of director, I was overjoyed. Throughout his time on the project, he has always provided the voice of a "gamer" in the interviews, ensuring us that he is there to do this huge franchise justice.
During the LA premiere, Duncan actually came into our theatre and addressed us fans, thanking us all for being there. He said that the game and movie could never have progressed and come to fruition without the dedicated support of a fantastic fanbase. It was really fantastic to see him come in and speak to us, especially given that he simply didn't need to.
In one of his interviews, Duncan discusses the possibility of a Director's Cut of the movie. Given the problems that many people are having with the film, I really think the 40 or so minutes of deleted footage will fill in those character development gaps. Given the reception in China especially, one would hope the movie does well enough to bring about a viewing of the full, extended movie. Without that, I don't feel we can truly see the movie in Duncan's vision and appreciate how great this movie is/could be.
The movie definitely had a talented set of actors and actresses prepared, so it was surprising when some of those characters fell slightly flat.
We can immediately exclude the orcs from this, given that they are a) done with CGI and b) were simply incredible. I'm addressing my concerns more towards some of the human actors.
I am a huge fan of Dominic Cooper, but I think his performance as King Llane was just strange. It wasn't bad, it just left you feeling unsatisfied. Whether this was due to the way which Llane was portrayed as a character or the actor himself, I wasn't a fan.
I thought Travis Fimmel played Lothar well, but his accents leaping around were a distraction when watching him for sure.
I thought Paula Patton was put in the same boat as Dominic Cooper; her character was forced to push a romance that didn't really fit at points. Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with the romance itself, just the way in which it was dealt with.
Ramin Djawadi has worked on some truly incredible pieces of music, including those featured on Game of Thrones, and the movie is no different. Feel free to listen to the OST below and marvel at just how amazing it is. Every time that opening piece comes on, goosebumps arrive.