Early ‘Warcraft’ Reviews Not Promising

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Cinema fans that have been waiting to see Warcraft on the big screen might need to start lowering their expectations. Early reviews of the film are surfacing and the word isn’t positive. A few reviews are embracing the movie but overall it’s being faulted for overly heavy CGI scenes, poor acting performances and an severely underdeveloped story.

Crave Online was one of the websites that was more favorable to the film.

We are still waiting for a great video game movie. Maybe we’ll never get one, but a film like Warcraft at least makes it feel like we’re buffering for it. This is an honest attempt to recapture the finer qualities of its source material inside of another medium. When it works, it’s a lot of fun. When it fails, it’s merely an average fantasy adventure that focuses too much on familiar plot devices to make a major impact. But there’s nothing wrong with not being great, so long as you don’t suck. And Warcraft doesn’t suck. It’s a flawed but likable adventure that I would happily go on again, preferably as a double feature with The Beastmaster, Legend or Ladyhawke.

The Hollywood Reporter claimed that for Warcraft non-aficionados, the experience could have been more concise and at times it feels dull.

But if you’ve never played Warcraft the game, can you care about Warcraft the movie? Given the ardent global following of the franchise, will it matter? For non-aficionados, the two-hour experience could be more concise, but it’s no ordeal. Neither, though, is it consistently involving. If you haven’t already invested in the self-serious mythology, it can feel borderline camp, if not downright dull — or both, as when an uncredited Glenn Close intones platitudes from on high about darkness and light. Yet there’s no question that it’s a breakthrough in both storytelling and artistry for features based on video games. And compared with another medieval-ish tale, the soporific Hobbit trilogy, this international production is a fleet and nimble ride, likely to conquer overseas box offices and make a solid stand stateside.

The rest of the early reviews weren’t as positive for the video game adaptation.

Rather than tapping into the goofy core that makes a game like World of Warcraft interesting, the Warcraft movie aims for grittiness, missing the mark quite a bit. It just doesn’t work. The lore is too campy. This is a world where a mage’s most popular spell transforms his enemies into sheep, yet Warcraft acts as if it’s a green-screen version of Game of Thrones. At my theater, the biggest laughs came not from the occasional bouts of slapstick comedy but from the miserable archmages of Dalaran, whose CGI-enhanced eyes look especially absurd when you’re supposed to take them seriously. I had hoped Warcraft would at a minimum be entertaining, but really, I’ve had more enjoyable two-hour sessions wiping on Molten Core. At least the armor looks good.-Kotaku

With its meticulously detailed realms built out primarily on soundstages and enhanced via CGI during extensive post-production, “Warcraft” aims for fresh and eye-popping and yet ends up shopworn and rather tacky. It fits into a long line of visually audacious Hollywood gambles: In success you wind up with a sleeper that few see coming, like “300” (or, if you strike the bull’s-eye, a phenomenon like “Avatar”), but the ones that miss — “The Spirit,” “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” “Sucker Punch” — tend to tank hard. Boasting more than 2,000 visual effects shots, it’s dispiriting to think about the time, energy, planning and precision that went into “Warcraft” when the final product brings to mind those animated advertisements for iPhone app games. So good at making the most outlandish elements of his first two films seem completely credible, Jones can’t find a way to get this cartoony spectacle to soar. His heartfelt approach to the material only underlines the silliness.-Variety

Imagine “Battlefield Earth” without the verve and you get this sludgy, tedious fantasy adventure, a fun-starved dud that’s not even unintentionally hilarious. The cast seems mostly adrift, with only Schnetzer giving what might be considered an actual performance. The usually reliable Foster is reduced to gadding about like a prog-rock Jesus in a series of robes that make him look like he’s posing for the side of someone’s van, and poor Paula Patton gets saddled with a sad pair of novelty-store fangs. (To her credit, she makes the green body makeup work; if the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever expands to include superhero-with-a-law-degree She-Hulk, we’re looking at a real contender here.) “Warcraft” promises, or threatens, sequels, but then so did “Super Mario Bros.” And come to think of it, if forced to watch either of these video-game movies a second time, I’d probably vote for the plumbers.-The Wrap 
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.

Warcraft will be released on June 10, 2016.

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis, TV division, joined Heroic Hollywood in 2016. Prior to joining the team at Heroic, she worked for TheCelebrityCafe.com covering everything from music to...

  • Brendon Traxler

    For the Alliance!

  • I can’t say as I am surprised by this at all really. Based on the trailers at least, I was left disappointed at just about every aspect of this film from what I was able to gleam from what little we have seen so far.

  • Lupin

    lol critics hahahaha Inconsequential, theyll affect the box office and some people will probably decide against seeing this film due to the critical reviews. I think for myself, after Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, critics don’t know sh!t.

    • Carmelo Pappalardo

      But the critics did, as did the fans. BvS was horrible, and beaten by such classics like The Boss. (sar for TB)

      • Lupin

        and Civil War was beaten by such classics as Angry Birds. You see how dumb you sound?! Or are you to dumb to see it even when it’s pointed out to you?

        • Carmelo Pappalardo

          After how many weeks at number one? How well was Civil War received? BvS only stood two weeks, and is actually still be beaten by TB. BvS was garbage. Please stop drinking the DC Kool-Aid. Get out of your mothers basement, and live in reality.

          • xxjinzaxx
          • Carmelo Pappalardo

            How much better did CW do, critics, fans, and box office? I know how long it was number one, it was the returns that was important. As for MCU, please read my other comments. You can see how much I truly loved Batman and Superman.

          • xxjinzaxx

            It did the best it could according to its popularity. The perception of popularity, good or bad, will always influence general audience behavior. We as fans tend to think these properties are the best ever and fail to value them according to general audiences’ sensibilities. Can you explain why and how Avatar did what it accomplished? Out of nowhere? Even Titanic. And why other studios have not been able to duplicate or outdo that type of success? If you can, then you and I know you are living your life wrong, which should prompt you to seek a career as a Hollywood financier.

          • Lupin

            The same number of weeks at #1 as BvS. I don’t care how anyone else received BvS being that Im an individual who thinks for myself, i dont need other people to validate what I experience. Sorry that you need to say “Look other people agree with me, so Im right”. i know Im right beacuse I experienced it, no one else can experience it for me! Please stop drinking Marvel Kool-Aid.
            Actually I live in a virtual reality in my Aunt’s Attic
            What other dumb things do you have to add to the discussion?

          • SAMURAI36

            @TChallaX:disqus @disqus_wE1fXabHb3:disqus Watching you two beat up on this guy, is kinda like seeing Bucky and Cap beat up on Iron Man in CW (which was a dumb scene, IMO, but I digress).

            Anyways, this guy doesn’t stand a chance.

          • Carmelo Pappalardo

            This shows how dumb you are. I do not drink the Marvel Kool-Aid. My two favorite comic book films were the first Superman, and Burton’s Batman. As I have stated I want quality, and DC/WB is not doing it. If you liked the film….it shows how low on the IQ scale you truly are.

          • xxjinzaxx

            Quality (Beauty) is in the eye of the beholder. What’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

            Sorry to pile on you. I shouldn’t have. I just think that we all would have better experiences with the things we enjoy without having someone crapping on it. It starts with ourselves as individuals. There is value to something once someone appreciates whatever that may be. We all should remember just for a bit all those moments someone poked fun at us for liking what we did. Of course, the fault is not ours, it’s on them for having a limited perspective and not respecting someone for having a mind of their own.

          • Carmelo Pappalardo

            Opinion is what makes money. Film companies need films to make money. If they do not, they will go bankrupt. So movies like BvS that barely profit, cannot be made over, and over again.

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  • xxjinzaxx

    Wow, Kotaku is really showing how outdated it is; stick to game deals. Molten Core style raiding hasn’t been relevant since 2005, and wiping was actually tolerable because raiding was fairly new, especially to more people after EQ.

    How unfortunate that exclusion leads to derision. That’s where “sour grapes” comes in.

  • Hinscher

    Didn’t read reviews, just read part where you said some are critical of over CGI use.
    Isn’t this a given based on trailers it will have a massive amount of CGI.
    Also where was the docking Jungle Book for CGI? The entire movie was practically CGI.

    • Carmelo Pappalardo

      But the CGI was well developed. It looked very realistic. WOW does not.

      • Math

        Jungle Book used CGI to create animals we have seen before. Warcraft is creating Orcs and magic and we have never seen Orcs or magic in real life before. When you do fantastical creatures and environments, it will always look CGI because the audience has no real life reference to compare it with. It has nothing to do with the technology. ILM are the best in the business (along with Weta) and they still do better work then MPC who did most of Jungle Book (though they are getting better and better, but they are still not at ILM’s or Weta’s level). It’s the type of shots that makes it look CG because it’s how your brain processes the information that’s different.

        • Carmelo Pappalardo

          First the Orcs could have been practical, like in LOTR. The skin, their size, it was too unrealistic using CGI just as it was in The Hobbit.

          • Math

            But then you are limited in your actor’s casting choices. Not many actors fit that size and have the talent to act well. Plus put prosthetics on them and their facial movement are limited, meaning you can’t even act all that well even if he is a good actor. The orcs in LOTR were just there to look evil and menacing. There wasn’t much acting required from them. Duncan wanted good actors for the orcs to have a good performance, not just big looking stand-in actors.

  • Carmelo Pappalardo

    I am not surprised at all. The film is twenty years too late, and the developers of the game fought hard to keep their “vision.” That is why games do not adapt well to film. Great games do not equal great films.

    • Chris W

      If you can make a great film out of nothing – that being, an original idea – then you can make a great film adapted from a video game. A film is good or bad not because of the material it’s based on, but whether it’s made well or not.

      • Carmelo Pappalardo

        But you have to write a good story, yes I agree. Why have so many video game movies failed? Plot! They try to stay so true to the source, that they sacrifice quality writing. Paint drying can be great as a movie if written well. Look, I would want WOW to be good…..no great. I loved the first two games. My issue is quality of writing and visual……..Always.

  • Winnifredhshull2


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