This film looks shit. Sorry, that’s not a very considered opening critique, is it? I’ll start again… This film looks really bloody shit. It’s quite something to make me think that after just a two-minute trailer, but this one immediately rang my Jupiter Ascending alarm bell. Orcs and war and massive eagles and shiny orb things? I’ll be lucky if I don’t have a special effects-induced seizure in the first ten minutes. No doubt someone will force me to give it a certain amount of leeway, though, what with this being an adaptation of the popular computer game World of Warcraft. But in no way does that give it carte blanche to act like a mixture of the worst bits of Lord of the Rings and the masturbation fantasies of someone who’s never taken a toy out of its box.
And let’s face it, that’s exactly what this is. With next to no reason to make a film about chopping trees and killing boars – that kind of material working far better in a game – all that’s left to contrive is something about a dark and mysterious threat with some orc sex scenes in-between action sequences. Well, I can’t guarantee the orc sex scenes, but the rest of it is the essential plot. It certainly has an air of ‘been there, seen that, got the disappointed look on my face,’ doesn’t it?
But wait! There’s another dimension for us to get mildly optimistic about: the humans and orcs actually have to overcome their differences and team up to save the world they both inhabit. Yeah, that’s definitely never been done before. I mean you can even predict the narrative arc of every character just by watching this trailer, for God’s sake. The two reasonable guys from both species will find a way to fight together, while the crafty-looking doubters on each side will refuse to collaborate and die like the idiots they are. I’m fucking bored already.
So we reluctantly focus on the special effects, like we’re settling for a gross one-night-stand consolation after all the pretty people have been taken. And judging by this trailer, the usual candidates are there: the massive beasty types that want to crush your pelvis, the socially inept ones that probably belong to a cult, and the hairy ones that want you to jump on their back and ride them like you’ve just stuck 50p in their side. That last one is actually a reference to the massive griffin thing we see towards the end. The human protagonist leaps off the edge of something, presumably to his death, only to be caught by the giant bird in dramatic fashion. It’s bollocks. It’ll make you throw whatever you’re holding. Even if it’s a baby.
Also, is it no longer possible to make a fantasy war epic without using the word ‘perish’? Warcraft can’t even get through this trailer without Dominic Cooper saying it, while slightly leaning forward, as if he’s presenting his arse to the writers for insertion. It’s lazy and it makes everyone cringe. But then what did I expect from a film that that looks set to start a trend of game adaptation titles? Next up: Assassin’s Creed! I wonder if this is Hollywood’s new method of combating piracy: releasing endless amounts of unwatchable phallus produce.