Warcraft: The beginning - A film only a fan could love - 2 stars

Some see death as having some greater purpose, but when it is one of your own, it is hard to grasp anything good comes from it. - Anduin Lothar

Walking into the cinema...
Will the fans of this on-line phenomenon finally get the film they have been waiting 10 years to see?

Overall Rating: 2 stars
Cinematic value: 2 stars     
Bigger questions value: 2 stars

            Am I the only one in the world who has no clue about the World of Warcraft (WoW)? I enter the theatre with relatively little knowledge of this world of orcs, humans and wizards. Afraid of outing myself as the only person on the planet who is unaware of this alternate universe, here is a short synopsis of the game of Warcraft

"World of Warcraft (WoW) is a multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994." (1)
           In trolling through the background for this review, I found a multitude of fan websites, which exposed the depth of the number of people who have much more to  say about the active participation in these fantasy worlds. The key take away is World of Warcraft has a massive world-wide fan base and justifies this film coming into existence. On the night of the screening, the feeling could be described as unbridled enthusiasm from a multitude of men with black hoodies emblazoned with nondescript on-line sights and a shared love for excessive facial hair. As the lights went down, there seemed to be an unspoken desire from the audience to have the ability to pass into the vast world of Azeroth and fight alongside their on-line counterparts. 
       The fantasy world that is introduced on the screen is of a realm of creatures and men whose lives rise and fall on the swing of a battle-axe or sword. The audience is introduced to the clans of the orcs who are under the evil leadership of the orc wizard Gul'dan (Daniel Wu) who strives to get his species off of their dying world. He guides them through a portal into a parallel world called Azeroth that is inhabited by humans. Under the military leadership of Blackhand (Clancy Brown), the orcs go forward to fight against the human horde, but unrest ensues in the orc camp due to the questioning heart of the leader of the Frostworld clan, Duraton (Toby Kebbel). This chieftain of a minor orc clan desires to live alongside the humans and is willing to go up against his own species to achieve this level of peace. He must reach out to Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the warrior leader of the human faction, who has his own goals to protect his king, family and country, yet he does prefer to find a peaceful solution to this war of orcs and men. 
      It can be said from the outset that Warcraft: The Beginning is for the fans of the gaming world. Director Duncan Jones attempts to achieve the daunting task of appealing to those who regularly inhabit this virtual world and trying to capture the hearts of the average cinema goer in the process. He attempts this feat by spending the majority of the budget on the CGI, but fails to work on the development of the story.  The visual effects are perfect for the big screen and the effects crew seem to have been given free reign to do all they could to create this visual spectacle. In focusing on the effects, Jones relies heavily on the fans knowing the basic storyline and characters of the game of Warcraft. The cheers and laughter that ensued during the screening proved that most of the writing was peppered with 'in-jokes' for the benefit of the long standing fans of the game. The challenge of the non-gamer was that most of the dialogue, jokes and story missed the mark and caused more frustration than cheers. 
       Two other victims of the strong reliance on the visual effects were the sound quality and the poor use of acting talent. The sound effects failed to rise to the same quality of the CGI. The sound crew could not manage to get the orcs to speak audibly, which added to the story line confusion. While on the side of the humans and their lack of additional teeth, the cast was left with a mediocre script that became laughable after awhile. Travis Fimmel (Vikings),  Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), and Ben Foster (The Program) are wasted in unfortunate roles that should have left them wondering about this poor career choice. 
      The overall experience of Warcraft: The Beginning was comical when it was not supposed to be humorous and confusing when it should have been crystal clear. Credit goes to Blizzard and their ability to maintain this massive fan base that should go along and support this cinematic adventure. For the average viewer there is not much to celebrate, except that there are other choices at cinemas to go to this weekend. 

REEL DIALOGUE: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film? 
Should we strive for war or peace? It is the question for the millennia. Throughout the Bible, both war and peace are considered and experienced. So, what is the answer? This is a topic worth studying out and seeking the answer. 

1. What does the Bible say about war?  (Psalm 144:1,Ecclesiastes 3:8) 
2. What does the Bible have to say about peace? (Matthew 5:9, John 18:36)
3. Can mankind's hearts change from evil to good? (2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Timothy 2:21)

Trailer for the film

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Warcraft

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews #warcraftmovie