Warcraft (2016)


High-fantasy may not be an easy genre to pull off but one doesn’t need to look past the prologue of The Lord of the Rings to get an idea of what all it takes to plant the seeds of interest in the minds of the filmgoing audience and compel even the newcomers to tag along on a journey to a world they don’t know anything about. Even Harry Potter franchise serves as a pretty good example, if not an ideal one.

Warcraft, on the other hand, is cringeworthy from start to finish. Infested with excess CGI, terrible screenplay, soulless characters, forgettable performances & incompetent direction from the very filmmaker who’s responsible for two of the most amazing sci-fi flicks in recent memory, his latest is a bland cinema that fails to create any sort of interest at any given time, and is simply a pain to sit through.

Based on the popular video game of the same name, the story of Warcraft unfolds in the kingdom of Azeroth where peace is disrupted when it is invaded by a fearsome race of orc warriors who are fleeing from their dying world into Azeroth through a portal. With one world facing destruction and other facing extinction, the plot follows two warriors from opposing forces whose actions ultimately decide the fate of their family & race.

Directed by Duncan Jones (best known for Moon & Source Code), Warcraft is an absolute waste of his talents and marks the first dent in his impressive career. Without familiarising the viewers with the world it puts on screen, the film dives into its main plot within the opening minutes and follows it up with one inexplicable sequence on top of another. There isn’t even an attempt to explain what’s happening here as most of it makes no sense at all, and the film as a whole is far too up its ass to notice that.

Even the technical aspects are a letdown in this effects-laden picture. The grand set pieces have no sense of awe to them and the production design team fails to infuse a live-action feel to those props. Camerawork is lazy although it does duplicate the images of its source material, Editing is a nightmare as this narrative is all over the place while its pacing is even worse. Characters are cardboard cutouts and performances aren’t any better either. Even Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack fails to provide an epic vibe.

On an overall scale, Warcraft is one of the worst films I have ever seen and this level of monstrosity wasn’t expected from Duncan Jones. No introduction, no explanation & no sense of direction, this uninspiring feature is shoddily crafted, sluggishly paced & horribly performed and I can’t think of one redeemable quality about it. Failing at even the basic aspects of storytelling and presenting its director diving head-first into the sea of CGI excess, Warcraft is fantasy filmmaking at its absolute worst. A total waste of time.