An Orc Here, An Orc There


Stars: Daniel Wu, Toby Kebbel, Robert Kazinsky, Anna Galvin, Travis Fimmel, Ben Schnetzr, Michael Adamthwaite, Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, Ruth Negga and Clancy Brown. Cameo by Glenn Close
Director: Duncan Jones
Scriptwriters: Duncan Jones, Charles Leavitt and Chris Metzen
Composer: Ramin Djawadi
Cinematography: Simon Duggan
Running Length: 120 minutes
Rating: PG 13 for fantasy war violence and themed material


The film “Warcraft” comes from the popular video game of the same name by Blizzard Entertainment. In it, there are battles between humans, Orcs and various other fantasy characters, most of which resemble The Hulk in fur. Does a video game translate to the big screen? Not having played “Warcraft,” I couldn't answer that, but as a film, the story stands by itself fairly well. There is a resemblance between the characters (Orcs and humans) and “The Hobbit” films, so if you are languishing for that, here is a somewhat substitute.


Basically, this story concerns a magician (Daniel Wu) who wants to take a group of survivors (Orcs) from one world into another through a Portal. Their world is dying and in order to survive, they have to move. The transportation requires loss of life, so the magician’s motives are nefarious, plus his use of magic called “fel.” Durotan (Toby Kebbell) is the leader of the Frostwolf Clan. In the meantime, in the beautiful world of Azeroth, there is peace, until news of villages being destroyed. This means someone is on the warpath and what to do? Anduin (Travis Fimmel), the commander of Stormwind, meets a young magician named Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) who also is searching for answers and works for the chief magical expert in the area, Meph (Ben Foster), who has built a golem. There are battles, chases and secrets, Travel can be by gryphon or wolf. The women in the film (Paula Patton as a slave, Ruth Negga as a Queen and Anna Galvin as the pregnant wife of a chief) are involved in the melee, too. Just why the Orcs world had begun to die away is up for comment.


“Warcraft” makes it on the screen with visual effects and extensive make-up. The battle scenes are well done, as are the modes of transportation. The idea of going into another world to save a species is a common theme in science fiction/fantasy and making it work involves the intricacies of the species (man and Orc and the fear of the Boomstick.) Large fangs on one person may appear gruesome, but attractive to another. “Warcraft” is a world of fantasy in which half the characters are the size of a mastodon, and some are green, too. The differences are many, yet, peace is being sought. This is summer escapism at the cinema. Special effects are well done and I liked the large wolves.


Currently in movie-land, we seem to be in a world of comic book characters and video game characters. There are so many films about them out there, you sometimes think you will see one at your local grocery store pushing a cart. Personally, I'm waiting for “Plastic Man” to be made into a film, or even “Blackhawk” and his crew. I hear “Captain Marvel” is on his way to be big screen and maybe even as a feminine version.



Copyright 2016 Marie Asner