Video game fans have been waiting a while for a first look glimpse at the new WARCRAFT movie adaptation. The wait is over. The new trailer just debuted. It’s filled to the brim with fantasy elements, feeling like a cross between THOR’s Asgard and LORD OF THE RINGS.
The sneak peek makes certain to highlight several mega battle sequences, with the promise of large scale war against two completely different species. Orcs vs humans has never been done on this scale before. Will a whole movie be able to sustain the fantasy without getting ridiculous?
There seems to be two races of Orcs – green skinned and tanned. Is there a divide amongst the Orcs themselves? It seems like one faction sides with the humans to defeat their Orc oppressors. The simple story will all depend on the execution.
Duncan Jones made a stellar directing debut with the indie sci-fi cult classic MOON. He followed it up with the loopy timeline thriller SOURCE CODE, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Jones got the Hollywood call-up to play in the big leagues with the offer to helm WARCRAFT. Despite any disappointment from the trailer, Jones is a shining light of hope.
The computer generated effects are lackluster, watering down the large scale chaos. Those that aren’t a fan of the flying virtual camerawork of Peter Jackson will be disappointed with Jones employing the same technique. The Orcs themselves, especially when more than a few are on screen, really look like a video game. The battles look like a cut-scene ripped right from a computer screen. At best, the CG is on par with MARVEL Studios, which aren’t as detailed as ILM’s work (for example).
Paula Patton looks like Gamora from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY… with a gnarly snaggle tooth. The image seems to suggest a hybrid race of Orcs, or the producers insisted on not wasting Patton’s stunning beauty. Granted, these FX may look a lot better on the big screen, under the proper lighting… and nerdy atmosphere influencing our enjoyment.
The main principle Orcs have more detailed complexions, adding to the realism. The main villain looks pretty bad ass in his intro, with an animal-hide cloak falling off his massive shoulders. Unfortunately, the voice of these Orcs sound a little silly – suffering from the Kylo Ren digital deepening distortion.
Travis Fimmel (from TV’s THE VIKINGS) leads the way on the human side. The coolest bits were how great the human armor and weapons looked. Fimmel’s hero riding a large Griffon was impressive.
The best camera shot was when Fimmel dives from the sky, riding the mythical beast, charging the battlefield below. With the wide framing and the camera behind the character, this striking image would make an excellent poster for a gamer’s dorm room.
Let’s hope WARCRAFT is better than the underwhelming HOBBIT movies. With a rising visionary director behind the scenes, anything is possible. The familiar hero story is just mythic enough.
While there are no big stars headlining the film, there are some impressive casting choices with less familiar faces… kind of like the original LORD OF THE RINGS.
There is hope, but this early trailer was a little underwhelming, especially compared to some of the other heavyweight trailers we’ve seen this year.
What do you think?
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