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Like a lot of people, I had high hopes for the Warcraft movie. Promising trailers, an impressive cast, and an excellent director all suggested that the motion picture based on Blizzard's franchise will see the end of terrible video game movies. But sadly, following a series of mixed reviews, it looks as if this isn't the case.
The most brutal analysis comes from The Wrap, which remarked: "Imagine Battlefield Earth without the verve, or the unintentional comedy," and even said watching Super Mario Bros. for the second time would be preferable to giving Warcraft another viewing.
Variety said: "Hollywood's habit of turning hit video games into unwatchable movies continues unabated," adding that "the final product brings to mind those animated advertisements for iPhone app games."
It's always worth remembering that a movie based on a fantasy video game series isn't going to be for everyone; it's primarily aimed at fans. But one reviewer and longtime WoW player, Kotaku's Jason Schreier, didn't enjoy it.
"It's tough to get invested in a movie that feels so soulless.Warcraft has very few redeeming qualities. The performances are mediocre, the writing is full of cliches, and the cinematography is confusing when it's trying to be clever," Schreier wrote.
Not all critics dislikes Warcraft, though. The Hollywood Reporter summed up its review with: "Dramatically and technically, Warcraft gives the concept of "hybrid" new punch," and Crave said it was "a flawed but likable adventure that I would happily go on again." The latter publication even compared the movie to Willow, which is high praise in my eyes.
Out of only five reviews currently on Rotten Tomatoes, two are negative and three are positive. But it does seem as if the majority of fans are happy with the movie; director Duncan Jones retweeted the following enthusiastic message: "MG expectations met and exceeded!! Thank you so much for bringing it to life!!! 12 years I've waited! THE FEELS !"
Judgment should be reserved until you actually see it, but it looks as if Warcraft isn't going to break the mold of (most) video game motion pictures being somewhere between terrible and average. But even if it's far from great, it doesn't necessarily mean it won't be successful - just look at the Angry Birds movie.
Let's see if Assassin's Creed receives a more positive reception.