This ain’t your grandma’s arts and crafts; this is Warcraft.
Warcraft adapts the popular online game, pitting orcs against humans in a battle for survival. Is it as addictive as the source material or would you be better off playing that game in your parents’ basement? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this movie? Toby Kebbell of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes plays the orc Durotan. Travis Fimmel of Vikings is human hero Anduin Lothar. Paula Patton of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol portrays the half-orc half-human Garona. Other stars include Clancy Brown of Superman: The Animated Series, Dominic Cooper of Captain America, and Ben Foster of 3:10 to Yuma.
The director is Duncan Jones, whose previous projects include Moon and Source Code. I haven’t seen either one yet, but I’ve heard good things about both, so I’m looking forward to what he does with this film.
The trailer opens as a Lothar rides in on a griffin to warn the people of not-Gondor that something is coming. He doesn’t know what exactly, but he can feel it, so something must be coming. Turns out he’s right, as orcs attack, crushing knights under their massive hammers. Guys, that’s not how you play whack-a-mole! The king charges Lothar to hunt down “these beasts, or whatever they are.” Gotta love how specific everyone’s being.
Turns out, though, that’s only half the story. Seems the orcs’ world is drained and dying, and they need to colonize another or they’ll go extinct. So they pop a portal in a nearby forest and hop through to the human realm. Now they’re thinking with portals! Props where they’re due: it would be easy to villainize the orcs, but showing them with families and desperate stakes and adorable babies is a clever turn.
As the humans pull together to save their world from invasion, half-orc Garona suggests that it might be better if they sat down and talked instead of crushing each other, and that Durotan might be their best ally. Seems the guy is sick of smashing people and blowing up towers and is looking for a peaceful life, so much so that he’s willing to have a sit-down with the humans to save both their peoples. It’s a good thing there aren’t any bigoted side characters to mess this up six ways to Sunday.
Wait, spoke too soon. The king’s open-minded about Durotan and his orcs, but another knight claims they’re only beasts and should be wiped out. It’s because they’re green, isn’t it? Lothar asks if he’s sure about that, and it’s a good question. Let’s face it, humans haven’t been sure of anything since the start of this trailer.
We get a glimpse of a romance blooming between Lothar and Garona, which would be sweeter if she weren’t in a cage. Another orc asks Durotan, “You’d side with the humans against your own kind?” Well, humans are slightly less likely to smash your face in with a giant hammer, so there’s that. Durotan’s wife puts her baby in the river like Moses, setting the world up to suffer from horrible plagues in about eighty years.
The king decides to attack the orcs with everything they’ve got. Lothar claims it’s suicide, but hey, if you’re going to go out, go out with both sides running at each other in an epic battle. Durotan takes off his wolfskin, and the trailer ends as Lothar tells him, “Whatever you’re planning to do, do it now!” Because he hasn’t thought much past “jump off a building and hope my griffin catches me.”
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Kinda. I’ll admit, I don’t know much about the Warcraft franchise, so it looks a little generic fantasy to me, especially on the human side; not a whole lot about them grabs my attention. On the other hand, it looks gorgeous, it’s got great action, and this trailer is giving me Dawn of the Planet of the Apes vibes, which is always good. I don’t think I’ll make it to theaters for this one, but I’m definitely checking it out when it comes out on DVD.
But as you watch it, remember people: orc lives matter.
Warcraft is owned by Universal Studios.