Why Warcraft is a better video game movie than you think

Video game adaptations get a bad rap, and for the most part, a well-deserved one. Many of these films are cynical greed, attempts to exploit or expand (there were even plans for one) a popular brand name call of Duty cinematic universe). These are often created by people who have no interest in the games, or at least consider them a passing interest.


Warcrafthowever, was not one of them. Though it shares the resulting ire of some critics and fans that many of its video game adaptations have endured, it was more of a passion project than an exploitative 90-minute commercial for its long-running fictional universe. It was a passion project at every level of its production; This and other factors helped ensure this Warcraft remains one of the best video game movies and a great movie – period. But there is more to it than that.

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The Long Journey to Warcraft: The Beginning

Director Duncan Jones with a statue from Warcraft.

Long before Warcraft Released in 2016, Blizzard had already planned to adapt its popular fictional universe for the big screen. Back in 2006, a year after the release of the MMO World of Warcraft who helped propel the brand into ubiquitous pop culture, they had announced plans for a film based on the original trilogy of strategy games that preceded it. similarities to Lord of the ringshindered this approach, however, and the project even lingered in development hell World of Warcraft reached its peak player count with its second expansion in 2008.

It was eventually taken over in 2013 by director Duncan Jones, who worked with Blizzard to radically redesign the script and add variety and complexity to the characters, particularly the antagonistic orcs. This is reflected in the finished product, with the orcish leader Durotan serving as a counterpoint to the nefarious fel magic that enchants most of his race and ironically appears more human than some of the actual human characters in the film. Jones’ involvement, given his previous success with the 2009 cult classic moon and his love for Warcraft, was a feat by Blizzard. In an interview with PC Gamer, Jones said that “the key was making sure the core story was legitimate and true to the lore. But at the same time telling a story that anyone can understand to draw the audience in.” The film’s duality of fanservice and accessibility is one of its greatest strengths.

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The actors were instrumental in bringing Azeroth to life

warcraft-film-anduin-orcs

The success of the script also depended on the actors’ performance and commitment to their roles, and even before the film came out, there was no question about that. Leading actor Travis Fimmel, who has bitten his teeth on the similarly medieval film viking, helped bring the harshness of that earlier role to his role as Anduin Lothar, a defender of his endangered homeland. Ben Foster, whose work in hell or flood has become the benchmark for the modern western, shedding light on the character of the magician Medivh like no other; The pain of his isolated role as guardian of the world is evident in every word, even the one he shares with Fimmel’s Lothar, arguably his closest friend.

Impossible Mission‘s Paula Patton played the half-orc Garona, whose connection to both worlds made her deeply compelling; Their complex loyalties are perfectly portrayed. Robert Kazinsky, a longtime Warcraft Fan, was also committed to the film’s success as he played Durotan’s right-hand man, Orc. In the press conference ahead of the film’s release, Kazinsky joked that he would have “strangled puppies” to be in the film. While not everyone knew the license as well as Kazinsky, the actors’ commitment to bringing their roles to life can be seen in the film’s more emotional beats, which pound as mercilessly as the evil orcs brandish their warclubs. The entire cast deserves credit for their work, especially the orc actors who trained with stunt director Terry Notary to help capture the race’s diverse movements from smaller humans. The film also includes a notable cameo appearance by a veteran Hollywood star, which shall not be spoiled here.

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The sounds and sights of Azeroth

Times of tragedy and triumph in the film are enhanced by its score, composed by western world and game of Thrones Veteran Ramin Djawadi. For the adaptation of an already popular series, it was important that the soundtrack lived up to that, and Djawadi more than delivered; The soundtrack helps evoke the depths of a world at war for the listener, its character themes as instantly memorable as John Williams’. Hearing them helps place the viewer alongside the characters fighting for Azeroth and the love and loss they endure in the process. If one song from the score deserves special mention, however, it’s “Mak’gora,” the Orc word for an honorable duel of life and death.

This single song is a tapestry of emotions pouring out Warcraft‘s closing action scenes that hammer home the victim’s theme. The pain of this war is amplified by the film’s excellent use of computer generated effects, which feel far more integrated into the film thanks to the combined use of practical sets and costumes. Although there are details that are revealed from those of the game, it still remains committed to the spirit of the game, which can be said for almost every aspect of the production of this film. The sound design of the many battles helps make them far more lively than the sword and board action of some other fantasy films.

Despite all the praise Nothing can do the film justice here than watching it. Although there have been talks about a Warcraft Sequel Almost since the movie came out it seems unlikely that there will be a direct sequel to this iteration of the world of Azeroth. However, given that this is the age of reboots and rebirths, nothing can be completely ruled out. Despite all the criticism the film has received from some critics and fans alike, at the end of the day it remains a highly watchable, entertaining and powerful experience for newcomers and die-hards alike.

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