starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper
written by Charles Leavitt and Duncan Jones
directed by Duncan Jones
by Walter Chaw A lot of it's a mess, and I'm well and truly disinterested at this point in huge-scale battles betwixt CGI armies, but enough of Duncan Jones's Warcraft is like Apocalypto to make it at least a fascinating misfire. It shares with Alex Proyas's instantly-derided Gods of Egypt this sense that but for the grace of God these are the exact kind of Ladyhawke/Clash of the Titans/Krull movies I used to love when I was a kid home from school with a fever. They're thick with invention and the sort of risk-taking that comes with not really having much shame. Their barometer for cheese and corn is broken, too. Warcraft is a picture without a sense that it shouldn't take itself seriously and so it takes itself very seriously, and there's one moment where the heroine of the piece talks about the strength she's gained from surviving repeated, and brutal, sexual assaults that actually cuts through the bullshit to the heart of some really troubling conversations. Particularly, pointedly, as it occurs in the middle of a narrative adaptation of a videogame whose culture is infamous for its intolerance of, and ideological violence towards, women. Warcraft earns points, too, for not being sentimental about its characters--for being another 2016 blockbuster that's unafraid of dealing with the consequences of forever wars on families and other non-combatants. Also, it occurs to me that if the humans had more gryffins, the war--and the movie--would be a lot shorter.