By Cynthia Ayala
The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.
When it comes to movies based on video games, there are so many ways the film can go wrong because video games have either too much story behind them or no story at all. That’s the way it works which makes turning them into films quite difficult. But here we have a film that is not just based off the standard video game, here we have a film that is based off an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). There is a story here and people are playing it out together in a united way. And that translate onto the film quite brilliantly actually because there actors are just players and here they are playing out this story, uniting against an evil force. That is what the story is about, as most fantasy-action films tend to be about.
The characters weren’t just written well but the actors here played those parts very well. It’s obvious to the viewer that not only did these actors enjoy the film they also took their roles very seriously. They have made this film very watchable because not only did they have chemistry with one another, they elevated the film with their strong performances and brought those characters to life, made them her own. Paula Patton especially was great in the film, she had the strength and fragility that her character needed as being an outcast between two races. Travis Fimmel as well delivered such a strong performance in the film and honestly, I don’t think there is anyone else who could have carried out that part with such emotional perfection as him. He suited the character and when it came to delivering the lines, he executed them with the right humor, the right emotions to spark a connection with the audience. He’s a phenomenal actor and this film highlighted that.
Everyone was brilliant in this film and the only big flaw here was the function of Ben Foster as the Guardian. His character was written well, the dynamic he had with the other characters was there, but there was more, something the writers hinted at but didn’t quite address to the full extent that they should have to make the film fully cohesive. The Guardian has a dark motivation but why he does, the audience can only guess at because it’s not clear. Yes, power has corrupted him, but why the Orcs? It felt as though the writers didn’t know quite how to bring that to life which is unfortunate.
Overall, this was a strong film that did the video game justice while not just making it some basic video game film. There is a story here and there are strong characters who develop throughout the film. There are funny moments and there are some heartbreaking moments. Yes, this is a movie that has a lot of action in it, but it doesn’t sacrifice the characters or the story making it worthy of a sequel to bring the characters back together and give a solid conclusion. (★★★☆ | B)
Directed by Duncan Jones
Story by Chris Metzen
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, Callum Keith Rennie, Burkely Duffield & Ryan Robbins
Distributed by Universal Pictures