Last night, my cousin and I watched Warcraft, which is a film that has been called “the worst of 2016” by several critics.
Personally, I don’t think it’s the worst film of 2016. It didn’t make me physically ill, like Hardcore Henry did. My cousin — who, unlike me, has actually played all of the Warcraft games and therefore came into the film already knowing who and what everything was — says that he enjoyed it. On the basis of both Moon and The Source Code, I think Duncan Jones is a genius who will eventually emerge as one of the most important directors working right now. Dominic Cooper is in Warcraft and so is Ben Foster. They’re both fairly unrecognizable (thought not as unrecognizable as Clancy Brown!) but they’re also two excellent actors and I’m always happy to see them listed in the credits. Visually, the film was well-designed though it was impossible for me not to think about the Make Love, Not Warcraft episode of South Park.
But I have to say that no film has ever left as totally confused as Warcraft. I got that the film was about a war between Orcs and humans. And I appreciated the fact that the film attempted to give all of the Orcs their own individual personalities and culture. If I wanted to, I could probably spend a few 100 words talking about how the war in Warcraft can serve as a metaphor for every war currently being fought in the real world.
But seriously, I spent nearly the entire film trying to keep straight who was who. The cast was huge and the dialogue was full of people and creatures talking about magic and honor and history and tradition and sacrifice and why so-and-so had to do this to such-and-such because of something that happened to someone else centuries ago and it made my head hurt trying to keep up with it all. I eventually gave up. My cousin was enjoying the film and, in the end, that’s all that mattered.
Plus, there was a cute little orc baby! I liked him and his story reminded me of the story of Moses floating away in that basket.
Anyway, Warcraft was slaughtered by critics and, because it cost a ton of money to make, it didn’t make any money back. So, the film probably won’t get the sequel that the ending was obviously designed to set up. However, I get the feeling that, next year, Warcraft will be a popular film to live tweet whenever it shows up on SyFy.
It may have been the most incoherent film of 2016 but it wasn’t necessarily the worst.