- TheTick Times Thursday Jul 07, 2016
When it comes to the adaptation of video game properties unto the big screen, Hollywood hasn’t had much success. It has been a history of failures either critically (Super Mario), or commercially (mortal Kombat).
However, there have been few hits along the way e.g the resident evil franchise, Lara Croft series and Prince of Persia. Although Warcraft trumped all other adaptations before It. It really didn’t have much competition considering how low the bar was set before it; so while Warcraft is an improvement on video game movie adaptations it still has a long way to go in living up to the level it seeks to reach (cue Lord of the rings).
Spoiler alert, stop reading now if you don’t want the movie spoiled for you.
Warcraft started on such a bleak note, with the Orcs seeking to migrate to another world as their world nears destruction
Their answer is Gul’dan, a chieftain that has become powerful as a result of communing with the demon god Sargeras who gave him the power of the Fel. A magic that promises it's wielder power but it exerts a terrible price twisting and polluting it's user, and it is fueled by life itself. With this power, Gul’dan opened a portal to the human world Azeroth(A habitation of seven human factions known as the seven kingdoms), taking only a handful of their best warriors, they created an army called the Horde, Gul’dan gave most of the Warriors that comprise the Horde the power of the Fel but Durotan the leader of the Frostwolf clan rejected it and forbade his clan members from accepting the power as the clan chieftain.
The purpose of the Horde was to go through the portal and gather more lives as sacrifice for the magic of the fel, so as to bring along all other Orcs from their world. On getting to the human world Durotan’s wife ‘Draka’ gave birth to a baby boy, which the Horde saw as a sign of good things to come.
After the Orcs attack, outposts upon outposts in Azeroth, the humans grew restless, and so king Wrynn Llane sent for the guardian (a mage appointed to keep peace and protect Azeroth)
Medivh, with the help of Anduin Lothar – the finest warrior of Stormwind (the capital of Azeroth), Khadgar – a runaway guardian apprentice who renounced his vows, they found out about the Orcs.
In an ambush of king Llane by the Horde, Garona, a half-Orc-half-unknown race was captured by the humans, and through her, they learnt more about the Orcs and their goal of world occupancy.
Back at the horde, there is discord among the clans as Durotan fears the fel more more than ever.
Earlier, he learnt that just as the few gives them power, it could also be used against them by the human mages, stating that the only reason he escaped from the earlier ambush was because he didn’t have the fel, seeing as the guardian made quick work of every fel-empowered Orc.
Durotan called for a meeting with the humans with the help of the Orc half-breed Garona, the meeting goes south when Durotan’s second in command Orgrimmar betrayed him for Gul’dan, because he couldn’t fathom siding with the humans against their own kind.
This led to an ambush that cost the life of Lothar’s son at the hands of Blackhand, the destroyer the leader of the balckrock clan of the Orcs, as Medihv sacrificed him whilst covering the retreat of the humans, this left a huge emotional scar on their finest warrior, the event causes Lothar to distrust Medihv, and Khadgar shared the sentiment as he saw a green glow in the guardian’s eyes deducing that he has been poisoned with the fel.
Durotan after surrendering to the horde was branded as traitor and imprisoned, but just as all hope was lost Orgrimmar(Durotan’s right hand) came to his senses, helped Draka(Durotan’s wife) and her newly born son escape, and goes together with Durotanto challenge Gul’dan’s leadership of the horde to which Durotan stated he is going to show the horde what kind of person Gul’dan is.
And so begins the trial by combat, Durotan is clearly a superior fighter to the evil priest, but he stood little chance against Gul’dan’s magic fel, causing him to die in the most gruesome way possible, however his plan of showing the horde what kind of evil power the fel is almost succeeded in convincing the horde of questioning their loyalty to Gul’dan, but like an alpha to his pack, Gul’dan won them back with intimidation, still fear isn’t as powerful a hold as loyalty, their little civil war was cut short by the attack of king Llane and his warriors.
While Khagdar goes to search for wisdom from the guardian council, Lothar was locked up, and Stormwind goes to war alone – King Llane was unable to convince all of the seven kingdoms to go to war with him, with the Orcs to free their captives that would prevent the opening of the portal.
Khadgar learns that Medihv has truly been corrupted by the demon Sageras and his fel and that he was actually the one that opened the portal from their side to call in the Horde, breaks Lothar out of prison and goes to face the guardian. They successfully incapacitate Medihv just as the humans were losing the battle, but the decapacitation rid Medihv of the fel and allowed him to open the portal to Stormwind instead, serving as a source of short transportation for the prisoners, stopping the plans of Gul’dan.
Back on the battlefield, the humans trust Garona enough to give her a weapon to fight alongside them, but seeing as it was a losing war, king Llane gave Garona a knife to kill him before Blackhand does, as this would bring her honor within her people, planting the seed for future peace between humans and Orcs (if a Prc that sympathizes with humans holds a position of power, it hastens truce), she does so with tears, solidifying her status as a true Orc hence they stopped seeing her as an abomination as she is an hybrid.
Lothar arrives on the battlefield to claim his king’s body but first decimating a whole lot of the Orcs, just as he picked up Llane’s body, Blackhand knocks him and his ride unconscious, he wakes up surrounded by the Orcs, they want to honor the hold tradition, a trial by combat is to be held to decide whether he takes his king’s body or dies, nd his opponent is Blackhand – his son’s killer – He maks quick work of Blackhand by slicing him straight in the mojo, as he prepares to leave, Gul’dan asked the Orcs to kill him, and that he isn’t going to let him survive, but the horde had nothing but respect for the warrior, Gul’dan would do it himself before Garona urged him to honor the old ways.
Later we are shown the basket carrying Goél, Durotan and Draka’s son floating down the river (yes moses style), and picked up by what we can only assume is a wealthy merchant.
Warcraft of course has its merits, the uphill battle against the forces of evil that the protagonists had to fight is something you don’t see everyday, and there are few directors as Duncan Jones who have the balls to kill off beloved characters after we have come to love them, the computer generate imagery is also of this age, as it realizes the Orcs as real as possible, the fight scenes, whether choreographed or done with effects is not something to be sniffed at either, the action is up there with that of great movies, the audience sure appreciated how Joes dug into the culture of the Orcs, though we would have liked to see their world and get and explanation on what destroyed their world, making it uninhabitable anymore.
Just like every other thing has what breaks and makes them, so does Warcraft. Taking about things that broke warcraft, there is the problem of on dimensional humans, the human world or tradition wasn’t explored so much as the Orc’s, imagine lord of the rings without knowing much about middle earth. There is also the problem of justified villain, basically Gul’dan who is supposed to be the big bad villain is justified in some ways, maybe the ways he went about his actions were a little underhanded.
None of us is going to sit idle if we learn of ways to save our race, villains shouldn’t be justified, Thry should have executed him as a more cruel figure maybe shown that he doesn’t really have the love of his people at heart and he just wants world domination.
There is the problem of thinking about the future and not living in the moment, can only imagine that Director Duncan Jones and his people were setting up a franchise instead of telling us a worthwhile story, as we left the cinema anticipating the next installment rather than chew on the current one. Mainstream fans of the world of Warcraft game series won't have a hard time with who is who, but it's different case for newcomers, as everything is so convoluted, sometimes you don't know who is who; which gives you the impression that the movie was only created to Hardcore gamers.
All in all, Warcraft was a fun and often bland cinematic experience, which you have to go into with a character guide to make head or tail of what's going on, 6 stars out of 10.
If Slapstick, Superhero, thriller, cinema, transformers, avengers and justice League are words in your day to day dictionary, you can look up the Editor, Olabode Ibrahim Odunayo on instagram @Lovaquista, twitter @Ayamquista.