If there is a sequel to Warcraft, I sincerely hope Duncan Jones doesn’t direct it

Published: May 31, 2016
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The movie was haphazard. Jumbled up subplots slowing down the momentum of story and made me honestly wonder if video games should be converted to movies at all

The video game has 12 million subscribers and not a single one of them could have asked for another director for this movie adaptation. But guess what, contrary to the expectations, Duncan Jones birthed a disaster.

Based on the video game franchise, Warcraft is set in Azeroth and tells the story of humans (including dwarves, imps and various other mythical creatures in the fringes) in conflict with beasts; orcs to be precise. The former party is exposed to the threat of colonisation and the latter fears extinction. The orcs are able to enter the human world via a dark portal and that is when sh** hits the fan. But hey, worry not, we have Garona (Paula Patton) to save the day… or at least she tries. Garona is half orc and half human – I have no idea why!

Paula Patton as Garona.
Photo: IMDb

Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar and Paula Patton as Garona.
Photo: IMDb

Garona is the mediator and she tries to avert the foreseeable war between humans and orcs by bringing their respective chieftains together for negotiation: the human King Llane and the orc leader Durotan. But things don’t go as planned. There’s a warlock, insane extent of 3D action, magic missiles, axes, griffins etcetera etcetera and the end!

Regardless, it was nice of her to make an effort to settle down the immigration anxiety.

Travis Fimmel
Photo: IMDb

The movie critics are having a field day by bashing Warcraft and honestly I don’t blame them. Keeping in mind my enduring love for the video game and not sounding vicious – the only good thing about Warcraft is that it’s not boring. It kept me hooked as all the while I was trying to make sense of all those senseless twists, weird fantasy names and CGI monsters.

The concept of the movie was all over the place and to what extent the characters and the setting were adapted from the game was unclear. In other words, the conversion of this virtual world to the cinema screen was one epic failure.

Robert Kazinsky.
Photo: IMDb

Robert Kazinsky
Photo: IMDb

Travis Fimmel
Photo: IMDb

Whisking computer graphics with ponderous costumes was perhaps a foul recipe for Warcraft. The director, Duncan Jones, wasn’t on the right track while planning the movie. What was shown in the movie and what players experience in the game were poles apart. The movie does not translate the story through its characters. But I honestly enjoyed the orcs’ peculiar sense of style, their aesthetics and appearance. They’re shown more like intelligent ogres, with tiny heads, tusk-like teeth and giant hands with fingers the size of human limbs.

These beasts are adorned with quirky accessories including dreadlocks, piercings, hides, furs and not just bones but entire animal skins and skeletons. One beast has skulls of a rhinoceros as shoulder pads, another has piercings through his tusks.

Robert Kazinsky
Photo: IMDb

Toby Kebbell
Photo: IMDb

Toby Kebbell and Robert Kazinsky
Photo: IMDb

Photo: IMDb

Aficionados of the Warcraft game franchise will have a hard time recognising the characters mainly because there are just too many of them! Numerous characters and subplots are bound to confuse viewers, especially those who don’t know much about Warcraft.

Moreover, the dialogues are timeworn and as if it wasn’t bad enough, the delivery and action scenes are way below average. 

Turning a video game into a movie is a skill that requires meticulous implementation. Every inch of every detail needs to be carefully kept in mind. As much as I enjoyed how the orcs looked, I felt they lacked something. And that was the biggest disappointment for me. The orcs in the movie were way different than the video game; to the point of being unrecognisable. The beasts were not as bada** in the cinematic version. They did not remotely exhibit the savage, cold-blooded brute barbarianism that I was expecting to see.

Toby Kebbell
Photo: IMDb

Furthermore, the movie was haphazard. Jumbled up subplots slowing down the momentum of the story made me honestly wonder if video games should be converted to movies at all! Viewers who have played Warcraft may still be able to extract some sense out of the mayhem happening in the story however, I feel sorrier for the non-Warcraft players. There is quite a possibility, they would turn suicidal after 120 minutes of torture by Duncan Jones.

But I would say that Travis Fimmel and Ben Schnetzer gave a passable performance. Nothing to write home about though.

Photo: IMDb

Photo: IMDb

Warcraft: The Beginning was godawful but I won’t be surprised if more sequels will follow, for there are a dozen levels of the World of Warcraft (WoW) game. But I hope, wish and pray that next time they are made by a different director.

It is such a tragedy that after Moon (2005) and time-travel masterpiece Source Code (2011), Duncan Jones would create such a catastrophe that would potentially drag his directorial career in a downward spiral.

All in all, those who have experienced the multiplayer online role-playing game will strongly disapprove of Warcraft: The Beginning.

Sajja Shah

Sajja Shah

The author is IoBM graduate with majors in Journalism. Her interests include reading and writing.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Yasir

    Oh please, this is not in any sense related to WOW, its far more early to compare it to WOW, this is based on Warcraft the original RPG game, and duncan did his best to fulfill it… if only wow comes in ur mind while watching warcraft. i have bad news for uRecommend

  • Patrick

    “for there are a dozen levels of the World of Warcraft (WoW) game” Good thing this guy knows what hes talking aboutRecommend

  • Jawwad Khan

    Sajja Shah your review on the Warcraft movie is full of emotions. Emotions attached to world of warcraft rather the story of warcraft. If you see the movie with an angle and storyline of WOW than i m sorry you wont find anything there.

    Although you are right about Garona’s past, they should have covered it, but in the novel its not even elaborately mentioned. Chris Metzen should reply on this one.

    The movie has just started with the first conflict, it will gradually come to WOW, then you have a right to talk about your WOW infatuations not being convered by Metzen and Jones (If they are not).

    Fingers crossed!Recommend

  • sensdeath

    I sincerely hope that you are never allowed to write articles like this.Recommend

  • mistidawn

    You have no qualifications to make the statement title of this article. Recommend

  • Ali Anwar

    You do realize that this movie is about the warcraft storyline (First game) Not World Of Warcraft? Please do research before writing an article.Recommend

  • Meshowz

    Too many fails in your article … sadly just like most critics out there, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.Recommend

  • husky92

    The only bad things about this movie is that it was too short and fast! I couldn’t enjoy it there wasn’t enough time to feel something for a scene that the situation changed in something else… a pity, it was pretty good but not cool.Recommend

  • Kolvargr

    “What was shown in the movie and what players experience in the game were poles apart”
    The experience of a movie isn’t the same experience of a game. What a
    shocker. The movie is an adaptation of the game’s story, not about THE game.

    “The concept of the movie was all over the place and to what extent the
    characters and the setting were adapted from the game was unclear.”
    For someone who mentions “enduring love for the game”, you seem to know almost nothing about the lore the movie is based on.

    Maybe you should just research and inform yourself before you start speweing “opinions”.Recommend

  • zoya khan

    what a pathetic review…Recommend

  • Owais

    The reviewer although claims to know about Warcraft, literally has no idea what she is talking about.
    “The concept of the movie was all over the place and to what extent the characters and the setting were adapted from the game was unclear”

    Please tell me you were trying to be funny here.

    Its obvious from my quoted text of your article that you know absolutely nothing of the game or the lore behind it, which basically renders your review/blog absolutely worthless, since thats what you are trying to do in your blog, trying to relate to the movie via the game of which you have no knowledge.Recommend

  • Owais

    The reviewer although claims to know about Warcraft, literally has no idea what she is talking about.

    “The concept of the movie was all over the place and to what extent the characters and the setting were adapted from the game was unclear”

    Please tell me you were trying to be funny here.

    Its obvious from my quoted text of your article that you know absolutely nothing of the game or the lore behind it, which basically renders your review/blog absolutely worthless, since thats what you are trying to do in your blog, trying to relate to the movie via the game of which you have no knowledge.Recommend

  • Osbourne Ozzie Cox

    Duncan Jones made such A GOOD JOB ! So: I really hope that HE will be doing the sequel. He made a very good movie and it will be even better with his director’s cut. He understood Warcraft & Azeroth! Thank you Duncan Jones!Recommend

  • S.

    I am sure the writer will be bashing the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie because she wont find Ezio, Altair or Desmond in it.
    Movies based on Video Games are not always using the same characters. There is no Alice in Resident Evil games. And for god’s sake, the movie is bases on Warcraft not World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is an MMO RPG. Recommend

  • Anees

    If there is a sequel to Warcraft, I sincerely hope Sajja Shah doesn’t review itRecommend