Set to open in Australian cinemas next Thursday – and out in the US this weekend – we had the chance to check out the anticipated Warcraft adaptation this week, and wanted to fill you in on five of the things we loved about the film, as we get excited for its official release. Read on, and get excited…
There’s a lot of magic in the Warcraft movie, and it’s pretty intense – from the fluro-green Fel energy manifested by orc villain Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), to that used by main Azeroth mages Khadgar and Medivh (Ben Schnetzer/Ben Foster). There’s teleportation, impressive shields, and spells interlaced with gorgeous runes.
We also get to see some major magic during the opening of the portal, including the orcs moving through it to make their way into Azeroth. Suffice to say, the magic of Warcraft rules.
ORCS THAT AREN’T GRISHNÁKH OR AZOG
I’m not a fan of orcs, and there are orcs in Warcraft that are really evil, but not all of them spend their time sucking the lifeforce out of anything that breathes; one orc doesn’t like the idea of Gul’dan turning Azeroth into another desolate wasteland, and that is Durotan, played by Toby Kebbell.
Thanks to thoughtful Durotan, we learn that not all orcs are warmongers. They also have families, best buddies, and despite appearing so overwhelmingly frightening, can muck around and have a laugh as well.
Ben Schnetzer is so endearing in the film as the mage Khadgar and he brings a lot of heart to a character that is quite intricate. He’s curious, studious, devoted to his craft and a seeker of truth. He’s also a total book nerd and handles some really beautiful books.
Along with some serious spell casting and light-hearted scenes with Lothar, Khadgar is another highlight of Warcraft.
OUR AUSSIES: LOTHAR AND DRAKA!
Warcraft boasts two Aussie thesps: Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar and Anna Galvin as Draka. Both characters are super-important; Lothar is the greatest hero of the Alliance ever, and Draka is the partner of main orcster Durotan. Director Duncan Jones often cited Draka as one of his favourite characters in the movie, and she makes a strong impact as a loyal mother and warrior.
Fans of Fimmel who know him from Vikings will not be surprised by the emotion and humour he brings to the role of Lothar. Aside from being the commander of Stormwind’s armies, he’s also a father, brother and loyal friend, so aside from his duty to protect the kingdom – a heavy burden in itself – he also lugs around some serious emotional baggage.
No stranger to battles, Fimmel does a great job fighting in that hefty armour, which despite its size, looks stunning during the combat scenes. Fimmel also provides some much-needed comic relief and has great chemistry with co-stars Schnetzer and Paula Patton, who portrays Garona.
STUNNING HIGH FANTASY VISUALS
Whether it’s a majestic gryphon soaring towards the citadel of Karazhan, the city of Stormwind by the sea, the spectacular armour worn by King Llane (Dominic Cooper) or the exquisite weaponry of the Alliance, Warcraft is so rich in high fantasy visuals you will want to teleport to Azeroth immediately. And as an added bonus, you also get a glimpse of elves and dwarves.
Based on the worldwide phenomenon World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment and directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), Warcraft: The Beginning opens in Australia on June 16.
Images: Legendary/Universal Pictures