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Despite Negative Buzz, Warcraft Does Right by Fans


Video game-to-movie adaptations have long been panned as failures, but this review from Spinoff Online says the Warcraft film (which opens today) does the popular game justice — at least from the fans’ perspective.

Fans of the wildly popular “Warcraft” video game franchise have been craving a film adaptation for decades. However, for just as long, the property has been declared as “unfilmable” because of its sprawling mythos dependent on creating armies of fantasy characters. Yet, here we are.

Universal Pictures entrusted acclaimed genre director Duncan Jones (“Moon,” “Source Code”) with the reins of an ambitious action-adventure franchise-starter filled with orcs, dwarves, elves, battle scenes and magic. Don’t believe the bad buzz: Jones has embraced that “unfilmable” game, and made a ferocious and fun journey through the worlds of “Warcraft.”

We begin with orc chieftain Durotan (“Fantastic Four’s” Toby Kebbell) and his wife Draka (Anna Galvin), who are on the verge of an epic battle and birthing their first-born. With their world dying from a strange plague, the orcs are led by the shaman Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) on a desperate mission through a planet-leaping portal to a human kingdom, which they aim to conquer for their new home. Naturally, that puts the orc clans at odds with King Llane (“Preacher’s” Dominic Cooper), his queen Taria (“Preacher’s” Ruth Negga), the Guardian Medivh (Ben Foster), the impulsive mage Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) and the great warrior Lothar (“Vikings” star Travis Fimmel). And so war is on!

On the battlefront, Jones not only crafts a series of tense confrontations between small troops, and one-on-one kill-or-be-killed showdowns, but also a dynamic finale, breathtaking in its breadth and casualties. The fight choreography sings with surprising moves, and jolting blows, and the team behind the visual effects did a stupendous job creating towering orcs who clash convincingly with armor-clad humans. The settings and character designs are lovingly detailed, and true to the game’s aesthetic, effectlively making this fantasy world feel real and immersive.

Read the full review at Spinoff Online.SuperFable