Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” the great Greta Gerwig’s “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the magically delicious “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” Greta Gerwig’s marvelous “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”
Peter Jackson may have exhausted the Tolkien catalogue with his “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies, but for moviegoers with a taste for JRR’s brand of fantasy along comes “Warcraft.”
Based on the video game series and novels of the same name, the Duncan Jones film is set in the world of Azeroth, a realm blessed by titans and home to humans and all manner of mythical creatures, including elves, dragons and everything in between. Lush and peaceful, it’s ruled by homo sapiens, the kindly king and queen (Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga).
The warrior Orc clan homeworld of Draenor, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. A dying dominion, it’s led by warlock Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) and Warrior-In-Chief Blackhand (Clancy Brown) who use a mysterious portal—“the Great Gate!”–to bring unrest, terror and a mighty army called the Horde to Azeroth. “This is a new time,” growls Gul’dan. “The time of the horde. Be feared or be few!”
In the midst of the mayhem are the Orc give-peace-a-chance chieftain Durotan (Toby Kebbell), his pregnant, swashbuckling mate Draka (Anna Galvin) and Garona (Paula Patton), a half human, half Orc who leans toward her human side while exercising her Orcian charms.
For a film that cost as much as this one did “Warcraft” sure looks a lot like Halloween at a Cos Play Convention, fake fangs and all. It has all the primal elements of any epic story—good, evil, betrayal, birth, death, biblical references, honour and even terrifying glowing eyes—but it also has distinct b-movie feel that hangs over the whole thing like like a shroud. There’s an unmistakeable campy aura that must be intentional although in my heart I suspect it isn’t.
For instance, when one of the Guardian keepers of the wisdom is flummoxed by a mysterious gizmo and says, “It’s never done that before,” he sounds less like a mystical being and more like my grandfather trying to figure out why the App Store won’t load on his iPad. It’s funny, but probably unintentionally so.
With all the faux gravitas of a Steve Reeves epic, “Warcraft” is more Dungeons And Dragons than Tolkien. As it plods on toward the end credits it only reinforces a long held belief of mine: videogames are videogames, movies are movies and never the twain shall meet. It’s becoming more and more obvious that sourcing videogames as the inspiration for films is as effective as pulling stories from the backs of milk containers. They are two different art forms and perhaps should stay that way.
I admired Duncan Jones’s last two films, “Moon” and “Source Code,” but this time out he’s crafted a movie that is most entertaining as an excuse for a “how many times did I look at my watch” drinking game.