At BlizzCon 2013, Blizzard Entertainment announced that a movie based on their Warcraft series of games was in production. Today, they released the first trailer for the film.
First off, why did they feel the need to add a sub-title to this film? Warcraft: The Beginning? Really? Obviously, Blizzard intends to make more films based on this franchise, but The Beginning? Very, very weak sub-title. Why did they not use the title of the game this film is supposedly based on: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans? It may not
be great as a movie title, but it certainly would be better than The Beginning.
The plot seems decent enough: a group of orcs flee from a dying world, clash with the human inhabitants of a new world. Some of the orcs disapprove of their people’s aggressive actions, and make a pact with the humans in order to save both people from constant war and destruction. Decent. There’s one problem, though.
That’s not what happens in the game.
*SPOILER ALERT* if you haven’t played or read the lore for the Warcraft games. I’m not concerned about spoiling the movie plot here, because it’s clear the filmmakers have taken the story is a completely different direction.
In the games, the orcs invade through a portal, not to escape a dying world, but for bloodthirsty conquest. The orcs were the bad guys, no doubts or room for interpretation. The first nation they encounter is the kingdom of Stormwind (the humans we see in the movie trailer), and war ensues. There is no alliance between the humans and orcs, and no civil war among the orcs until Warcraft II. If this sounds simpler than what they’re doing in the film, it is. There is still a lot the filmmakers could do with the story, but honestly, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans could easily have been the first 30 minutes of a movie, followed by parts of Warcraft II, and then a sequel to finish the story of the second game. Now, it does seems that Warcraft: The Beginning is including elements of Warcraft II, Warcraft III, and even a little bit of World of Warcraft, but everything is still packed into the original game’s storyline. A mistake, in my opinion. The filmmakers should either commit to the first game’s plot and expand on it, or use it as an introduction to a Warcraft II story, but the one thing they should not do is cannibalize elements of future stories to muddy the original one.
Even excusing the liberties the filmmakers have taken with the plot, I can’t say that the quality of the film has impressed me. The CGI is very obvious in many places, and overall does not mesh well with the live action sequences. The orcs look good at times, but more often appear out of place next to their human counterparts. There are also scenes that look as if they were shot on green screen, when they should and easily could have been down on a set or location. Additionally, while the humans’ chain mail seems fine, their plate armor looks like shiny plastic. That is arguably more problematic than poorly-integrated CGI, considering how prominent the armor will be.
All thing considered, the trailer was not as bad as I anticipated it would be. That’s not saying much, however, as I was expecting it to be utter garbage. The best I can say for the trailer is that it didn’t repulse me. But I have no intention of spending my time and money to see this movie in theaters based off that trailer, nor would I suggest anyone else do so.