17. června 2016

Warcraft - through the eyes of a non-gaming movie-goer [3/10 A.S.]

1. First things first. I have never played Warcraft and even more: I have never been exposed to any information about it, other than the one episode on the Big Bang Theory where Penny turns out to be somewhat addicted to it for a while. Also, I feel I should mention my favorite computer game was Tetris and I never progressed beyond that with games.  I also suffer from a mild case of ADHD. Alright?

2. Now that we cleared that, I want to say I have nothing against gaming and can recall other movies based on video games that I enjoyed. To name a few: Resident Evil, Max Payne, Final Fantasy, Need for Speed or even Hitman: Agent 47. And I liked The Lord of The Rings and am an avid fan of the Warcrarft director Duncan Jones. I loved Moon and enjoyed Source Code a lot. But Warcraft confused me and couldn’t keep me entertained at the same time.

3. Because the level of my confusion and boredom was so big, I decided to show you just how bad it was (for a non-gamer). And I wrote this review without having googled or discussed the plot and all the things that I may have missed or just misunderstood. I slept on it, though, because yesterday right after the movie I'd have probably given it an even lower score. To be clear: I knew what I was getting into and all I really expected or wanted from the movie was to be somewhat entertained for 2 hours, while I chew on my unbuttered popcorn and drink my diet coke. I wanted this fun-looking, impressive-budget-and-great director-having live-action movie to do it's one job - take me out of the everyday reality and have me focus on good & evil fighting it out. I am not reaching for the stars here people. I managed to enjoy Jack and Jill, and Dungeon and Dragons, for crying out loud. I can be very forgiving.

eenie meenie miney mo, demon, human, orc and ho'

4. But this just didn't work for me. It felt shallow and flat plus I couldn't really figure out who to root for, to begin with. Now maybe this could have been the director's intention, to be deep and have us feel ambiguous about the characters. But then again, Warcraft is no Breaking Bad. And I simply couldn’t tell the "good orcs" from the "bad orcs". There were just too many orcs that looked similar. Am I supposed to recognize their adherence to either good or evil based on the slightly different shade of green their skin is? Or mildly different clothes, teeth or voices? After a while I figured out: there was this one "really bad orc", I call him the "Demon orc". Then there were a bunch of slightly less evil but still bad orcs. I will call them "Trump Demon Supporters." And then there was (but I am still not sure about that) one or two key "good orcs"? And did they have a baby? Or was it someone else's? I wanna know: who was the baby? And why should we care about it? Should we? And why is Edward Snowden still in Russia?

we gotta have some basic understanding here!
3. Anyhow, the story how I figured: A Human king (a weirdly puffy looking Dominc Cooper) rules his world peacefully, until one day his people come across a half-human half-orc female (sexy Paula Patton aka something to the sound of Cortana?) and find out there is a portal through which the orcs plan to come to the human world and invade it. Why? I am not sure. They probably ran out of something important back in the Orcland. Or was there a civil war going on? Between different orc-clans, and that is why they wanted to take a hike and settle in the human world? Or did they actually want to wipe out the humans just for fun? Or was some old prophecy telling them to do so? There was a lot of talk about villages burning and prisoners, but why was that happening I am not clear. But if the Orcs were the ones using the portal to infiltrate to the human world, why were there human prisoners in the Orc-land, so Cortana could learn how to speak English from them? Never mind. She was pretty smoking so who cares.
Whos next, you brittle-boned no-muscle boys?
4. The King then sends his main military man (uninspired Travis Fimmel, looking and acting like a very Beta-Aragorn) to....do something. Meanwhile there is some kinda war happening, although I am unsure on between whom and whom it is, exactly. There is also this Hunky Librarian (poorly acting Ben Schnetzer) who is maybe studying to become a magician? And has a role model called the Guardian (painfully underused Ben Foster) that he looks up to? But the Guardian acts weird. Like possessed. A lot. Was he under the control of the Demon Orc? Or another evil entity? Hard to say. Now the Hunky-Librarian, the Very-Beta-Aragorn and Cortana go off in hopes to "solve" the orc-human conflict. Very Beta-Aragorn has a Hunky-Soldier-Son (decent Burkely Duffield), who looks disturbingly similar to the Hunky-Librarian. What happened with casting in this movie? Did nobody think to stop to say "hey, you already have a bunch of similarly looking orcs, maybe, just MAYBE don’t also put similarly looking humans into it?" Now I am not saying Ben Schnetzer and Burkely Duffield are twins or anything but COME ON! 

who am I?
I dunno but you sure do lok a lot like me dude, its creepy!

5. Also, did nobody stop to say: wait, this guy is only 36 should we really cast him as a father of a 23 year old? I mean sure, there are young fathers out there, but this just looked laughable. But most of the poor casting choices regarding similarity or age gaps pale in comparing with the really big one: the poor acting. Of almost everyone involved. Ben Foster is usually a safe bet, but here he was left with very little other than acting out his last taco-feast-gone-bad moment. Paula Patton (constantly sniffing something in the movie) was ok, Dominic Cooper had one good moment (toward the end of the movie, I am sure you know which one I am talking about) spoiler: yeah, the one where he died. But other than that, it was a mess and it had scenes when it was painful to watch the acting. And all I could think of was: cut away, please cut away from his face, he can’t act, don’t let us watch it for too long, maybe there is still time for his agents not to notice!

I should have used a condom, when I was 12, I know..

6. The only truly interesting moment was during the last battle. Big Spoiler: the talk "better if only one of us dies, then both of us" was not a strategic gold, given what happened after she followed through with his recommendation to be killed, but at least it presented some real internal conflict that we could understand and for a fleeing moment feel something for someone on screen in this movie. Unfortunately that passed shortly after, when it turned out that the "big good moment" was really fairly useless and was just supposed to set up the need for a sequel. Help us Orc all mighty and protect us from it.
Gimli, is that you??
7. Was the CGI good? I guess. A lot of money and effort went to it that's for sure. Although everything was too green or too brown for my taste, with not enough colors or emotions shown in between. And the personality-free orcs just reminded me of the similarly expression-less aliens in John Carter. Oh and if you have a world of creatures that are of different colors and body shapes then the humans as we know them, how is one supposed to know that an oddly-shaped blue baby is not a good thing? Until the (what I think was the Demon Orc) kills a deer just to revive the baby, I didn’t even realize something was supposed to be wrong with it. Just saying, that for those of us that have never been exposed to the visuals of Warcraft before, there was a LOT of trying to catch up with its antics and understand what the orc is going on. Incomprehensible magic, spells and weapons aside. I am just looking at the very basic rules of the world and it's creatures. Those were incredibly hard for me to figure out and follow, and although some people may think I am slow, I am not a complete moron. If I can follow The Big Short and understand what a synthetic collateralized debt obligation is, I should be able to figure out if a blue-orc-baby is worth rejoicing or crying over. Or maybe it’s the lack of naked busty ladies that had the running commentary in the Big Short? Who knows.

let me repeat it again, you moron: me king. you moron. Got it?

8. What I didn’t like about the movie: the interchangeable characters (on both sides, for orc's sake). The abundance of characters to begin with. The visuals that looked too monotone after a while.  The whole movie shrieking with under-development of any realness, but at the same time the oh so many internal rules, spells, weapons, and laws and lands that I couldn’t possibly keep a track of. Not to mention the names. Hints for the creators: if it takes teenagers months to master their understanding of the world within a videogame they spend hours a day playing, two hours in the cinema might not be enough for the audience to understand what the heck is going on, without previously having read a manual on it. Also, if nobody in the movie is called anything humane, how the fuck are we supposed to remember who is who, and orient ourselves in the story when they refer to each other? Same goes for the names of places. Nice of you to mention the name of the fort once to begin with, but did you really expect me to remember: Azaroth, Lothra, Mervith, Ghadgar, Duilothra, Garona, Ordrgim, Gulham, Frostwolf and such? Couldn’t you have thrown me one "Harry" or at least a "Frodo" or something that would be easier to remember? What a mess! Mind you I only name these because I looked at the character list just now. Otherwise all I'd remember is: King, Demon Orc, Slightly less Demonic Orc, Maybe Good Orc, Possesed Dude, Very-Beta-Aragorn, Hunky-Librarian, Hunky-Soldier-Son and Cortana.
I see dead Orcs. And I like it. Or do I? That is the question!
9. What I liked about the movie: the one scene of meaningful dialogue between The King and Cortana.  Some of the action scenes were interesting. Trying hard to come up with something else. The visual effects? Yeah, I will go with the visuals - the Eagle and the Snow-Wolf or whatever the heck it was they rode on (and that was supposed to understand the concept of blackmail), looked pretty good and all. 

this "thing" is smarter than u, dude! Or is it? Who knows. I didnt play the game!

10. Who is this movie for? For fans of Warcraft. For fans of Orcs of all shades of green and brown. For fans of CGI. And for fans of no good, no fun, no character development and poorly acted live action movies. This one is for all of you out there, buy tickets, give the movie great ratings, buy the DVDs, stream it and enjoy it for the rest of us, so the mega-talented Mr. Duncan Jones gets to make more flicks. Let’s just hope they are closer to the delight that was Moon than the mess that was the tale of Azeroth.

I'll be waiting for you....

15 komentářů:

  1. nykisi sleduj jack a jill a nepoustej se do slabikare pro gamery; pokud sis pletla "syna" a "kouzelnika", pak muselo neco byt velmi spatne, oba byli celou dobu obleceni nemenne, tozn. syn ve zbroji, kouzelnik v nakym habitu, kouzelnik navic knir; syn kulisa kvuli jedny jakoze vypjaty scene..
    ztratit se ve filmu, kde je 5,5 postav, to proste neni normalni
    ze ses nezminila o ty scene s umrtim v zaveru, sto v mezidobi pochopila? (opravdu to nebyla raketova veda..)
    kouzla a pravidla fikcniho sveta - aha, takze tobe bylo do mrte jasny, co presne gandalf v lotr dela, kdyz rve "you shall not pass" a dela nejaky brikule s catalystem? ja si teda rikal, ze 1.) mohl teleportovat partu 2.) mohl zmensit zrudu 3.) mohl udelat uplne cokoli, protoze ohledne toho, ceho je schopen, jsem vedel to, ze "je schopen toho, co mi ukazou, ze je", proste z pohledu divaka se mohlo stat uplne cokoli a vsechno se stejnou pravdepodobnosti, protoze fikce (bez pravidel), strach tedy nebyl ze zrudy ale z toho, jak si autor hodil kostkou, warcraft mi v tomhle neprisel nicim jinej a vyjimecnej, proste ukol je otevrit hubu, sezrat, neptat se
    stram modryho ditete - bud bylo zcela normalni a kouzelnik ho ofeloval (tak jak ofelovaval dospely orky, aby byli silnejsi), anebo bylo na chcipnuti po prozitem traumatu pri pruchodu branou, a kouzelnik ho ofelovaval (aby ho ozivil), v obou pripadech ho ofelovaval a mytologie kolem toho, ze fel zivot krade a dava, tam byla tlacena celou dobu, totalne nepodstatnej detail jak od fuky
    mne to neprislo kdovijaky, ale prekvapuje me, z jak jinejch duvodu (infantilita a tlacena melodramaticnost zvratu, nepodrobnost a povrchnost fikcniho sveta, primitivni jednoduchost zapletky, naplneni spousty fantasy klise)

    1. povrchnost a nepodrobnost (zejmena vykresleni postav a jejich osobnosti ci motivaci) tam zminuju taky.

      a prave na rozdil od LOTRA - Gandalf a spol byli lip vykreslene (mene ploche) postavy a nebylo nutne k tomu aby clovek pochopil o co se snazi rozumet tomu jaka kouzla pouziva a co presne ma pripadne za silu/schopnosti.

      a vyslovne pisu ze typ kouzel a pravidla toho sveta neposuzuju, do toho by ani nemelo smysl se z me pozice poustet.

      ano mozna to "neni normalni" se v tom ztracet, a nejde o to jestli jedna postava mela habit a druha brneni (nerkuli ze se mohl prevliknout, duh) ale o to ze me zadna ta postava nezajimala a bylo to i diky tomu ze nebyly dostatecne odlisny. k tomu prispela ta plytkost scenare samozrejme, nejen ta vizualni stranka.

      tvuj odstavec o cvuteni deti jen potvrdil to jak velkej rozdil dela, kdyz se na to kouka nekdo kdo tu hru zna a nekdo kdo nic z toho co popisujes v zivote neslysel ani nevidel, tzn stacilo prosvihnout par vyrazu nebo neporozumet presne nejaky scene a pak bylo fakt jenoduchy to behem zbytku filmu nedohodnoit, diky zkratkovitymu scenari to proste nebylo z ceho brat.

      infantilita a melodramaticnost mi prislo ze byla uz v zakladni nabidce, to filmu podle me nema smysl vycitat.

    2. tvl nykisi, ja ti neberu, ze "nebyli dostatecne odlisni", ale plest si dve postavy, z nichz jedna byla celou dobu v habitu, kouzlila, ucastnila se boje, zachranila situaci, cumela po orcici, proste byla skoro furt na platne, s druhou, ktera byla celou dobu v brneni a vlastne nikde nebyla az na dve sceny, pricemz v prvni byla predstavena a ve druhe umrela..

      ja tu hru neznam a krom dema pred asi 10 lety jsem ji nehral; a o felu v tom demu nebylo ani slovo a i kdyby bylo, tak by me to nezajimalo, cerpam jen z toho filmu (kde je doslova ukazano, jak zly kouzelnik vysaje energii z veznu, vrhne ji do zelene brany, pak vysaje energii z koloucha, vrhne ji do zeleneho ditete a takhle jakoby ta analogie se tam opakuje mnohokrat, je tam napr. scena, kdy v boji ochrance pouzije magii a ta neco udela s utocicima orkama, coz ten jeden ze tri dejove vyznamnej orku komentuje slovy "ten fel je nejakej divnej, ta jejich magie sezrala jen ofelovany orky")

    3. tvl okamihu, z deseti octavcu se tocis na jedny vete "looks disturbingly similar to the Hunky-Librarian.". prave proto ze ten druhej typek tam byl jen 2 minuty mi to prislo jako o to vettsi casting fail vybrat typove nekoho podobnyho. ne ze by si to divak tolik pletl ale bylo to zbytecne dalsi minus.

      "ten fel je nejakej divnej, ta jejich magie sezrala jen ofelovany orky" i rest my case. timhle sam ukazujes jak zjevne daleko si od schopnsti predstavit si vnimani toho filmu clovekem ktery nehraje zadne video hry.

      kdyz si i fuka, co hral warcraft jak pise sice jen par hodin ale s jinejma hrama a hernima svetama ma asi o dost vetsi zkusenosti nez ja stezuje ze byly motivace nekterych postav neprehledne, nedovysvetlene a pletla se mu akce i mista (stejne jako to pise ted koukam kde kdo i na RT v jinejch recenzich) neni nahodou mozne, ze na tom neco bude? ze skutecne hodne divakum nebylo jasne vo co go a odvijelo se to od toho ze ten film v tomhle ohledu sucked ass? asi nas bude nenormalnich vic. ale to je ok, zase nemame uz 2 mesice v hube spinave ponozky.

    4. rest your case - ne, to fakt nema nic spolecnyho s tim, ze ty jsi hrala jen tetris a ja nejaky jiny hry; ma to hodne spolecnyho s tim, kdyz si fuka v interstellaru spletl cernou diru s cervi..

      fuka je geront, viz vyse, ale i presto pise "akční scény jsou smysluplné, přehledné", nebo "ve filmu je představeno mnoho postav a mnoho míst, ale skoro žádná/žádné z nich pořádně", coz nicemu nevadi (treba ten zablesk na gimliho), nebot dejem jich opravdu hybalo jen tech 5,5 a to opravdu je v lidskych silach pojmout -> pravdepodobne se odkazujes na nejakou jinou fukovu recenzi, nebot o neprehlednosti motivaci postav nepise zhola nic (coz se tyka i toho umrti v tvym spoileru, ted to vidim teprv, tvl, priste to udelej na hover, nesmis u filmu holt spat, opravdu to nebyl iq test, kdo a koho a proc zabiji bylo explicitne vyrceno)

    5. the case is rested, thus your petition was not delivered. consult your counsel to see if you may qualify to file an appeal, however please note the likelihood of this case being overturned is very feeble. if you cannot afford a counsel one will be provided to you, because you, sir, appear insane. in spite of your very apparent mental problem, this office does wish you and your by now for sure very filthy and saliva-drenched socks, all the best in your surely very difficult life.

    6. Roger that, coordinates recieved, will continue as planned, pls initiate phase 2, everything is ready on our side. Advices regarding hacking employer's infrastructure are to be expected soon, take appropriate precautions meanwhile.

    7. ty nedostatky (maly ale casty) se daj napravit, neboj. to das.

  2. jeste k veci cypher - vomit, adolf hitler, panties, dyi bomb, allah, usa oppression, american dogs will pay, cell leader, instructions, waiting

  3. roger, ready 4 signal, will stay low profile, expecting code & coordinates, mashallah

  4. Meli zfilmovat diablo

  5. Na druhym obrazku ten savlozubej samsula trima slusnej frkodrťák!

    1. takhle divne savlozubi tam z nejakeho duvodu byli skoro vsichni. evoluce tam nejak skipla beat.

  6. Vladimír Neff - Sprnovští páni: "Odolen ve dvanácti obtěžkal žnečku" (necetl jsem, citoval to Machonin).