Whether you’re a fan of video games or not, chances are that you’ve probably heard of Warcraft and its massively multiplayer online role-playing game successor, World of Warcraft. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment (Diablo, Starcraft), the Warcraft video game series has captivated millions of people for well over a decade, even spawning novels, comics, tabletop games and countless collectibles. With such wide-spread popularity, it was hardly a surprise when a film adaption of Warcraft was announced in 2006 by Blizzard and Legendary Pictures. Though the film has suffered a number of delays since it was originally announced years ago, Blizzard has finally revealed the first official trailer for Warcraft. Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), Warcraft follows the initial encounters and conflicts between the humans and orcs of Azeroth. The film stars Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, Dominic Cooper and Clancy Brown.
Though there’s certainly a lot to appreciate from the trailer, it’s hard to ignore the fact that so much of the film seems to have been shot in front of a green screen. Much like Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, the environments and characters shown in the trailer feel extremely artificial and cartoonish, giving the film the appearance of a big budget video game cutscene. Still, one could probably argue that this was intentional and accurately portrays the characters and creatures in the games, but having so recently been disappointed by CGI-heavy films like The Hobbit and its sequels, I can’t help but feel a more grounded approach with Warcraft could have been more daring and even refreshing.
While the trailer spends most of its time showcasing its visual effects and action scenes, we do get a better sense of what the story will be. Rather than getting another straightforward Tolkien-esque fantasy tale of good versus evil, the trailer for Warcraft seems to indicate that there are empathetic and relatable characters on both sides of the conflict. Though this is hardly a new concept in the high fantasy genre, it’s at least nice to see orcs shown in a more positive light. Additionally, the trailer does a good job of showing just how big and fantastical the world of Azeroth actually is, flashing to jungle and desert locations.
Despite my criticisms over the special effects and CGI, I have confidence in Jones as a director and I’m more than willing to believe that he’ll be able to deliver a suitably entertaining fantasy-epic.
Warcraft will bludgeon its way into theatres July 10, 2016.
What do you think reader? Are you impressed with the first trailer for Warcraft? Do you support the Alliance or the Horde? Let us know in the comments below!