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Friday, June 10, 2016

Warcraft Movie a Squib:

Warcraft was an okay movie, but it wasn't worth the price of the ticket.  For hardcore fans of World of Warcraft, it was delightful to see the weapons and armor we're so used to in HD.  Likewise the cityscapes of Dalaran, Ironforge and Stormwind.  Likewise the dark portal, orc camps, frostwolves, Kharazan, Elwynn forest, etc.  As a visual spectacle it was fine, as expected of Industrial Light and Magic.

The plot was just so dull, though.  Orcs invade, humans fight back, traitors in both camps make the fight a little more complicated but ultimately our heroes prevail.  I was far more emotional when Renge's tadpoles died in Non Non Biyori.  This is because there's no subtlety or moodmaking in this show.  Everything is rushed and overkilled.  I don't know, I guess this is all you can expect from a video game based movie.  But I was hoping for something with a little more meat on the bone, something I could show off proudly to others, like, "This is my hobby, isn't it great?"

The biggest weakness in the movie is that the mages weren't casting recognizable mage spells, the warlocks weren't casting recognizable warlock spells, Garona, a rogue, wasn't fighting like a rogue, and the warriors didn't fight like warriors.  It just didn't feel like Warcraft.  They didn't use any of the cool mechanics of fights you would see in pvp in WoW, and instead just had some lackadaisical choreography where people swung their weapons at each other.  Where was backstab, gouge, shadowstep, etc?  Where's the delightful flash and flurry of true WoW pvp?

I hope Warcraft gets a sequel, because there's still so much room for improvement left in this series.  It would definitely get better if it started addressing the Lich King and Night Elves instead of just orcs.  The Forsaken are the coolest race in WoW and they haven't even come into existence yet.  But we'll just have to see.  Obviously Blizzard is better at making games than movies.

Meanwhile, Hunter x Hunter just lost virtually all of my respect with its decision to bring Hisoka back from the dead.  There were so many problems with this decision from the story writing perspective.

1)  Nowhere had Hunter x Hunter ever foreshadowed the ability to raise people from the dead.  This is unprecedented and never even mentioned as a possibility before.

2)  Of all the ways to raise dead, using rubber or gum to create a delayed reaction to start pumping your heart and lungs again days or many hours after you died to bring you back to completely perfect health again is the most absurd way imaginable.  By then your oxygen starved brain would be totally brain dead and it would be totally meaningless to start pumping your heart again, it's all long over, so who the hell is the author kidding with this?

3)  The author had promised us a deathmatch between Hisoka and Chrollo.  It's one of the things we've always been looking forward to in this series, for years.  He hyped and hyped this match, saying it meant something, only to pull the rug out from under us and announce with a 'you've been punked' face that the fight was from the very beginning totally meaningless, since death isn't permanent in this world so it doesn't matter who wins or loses.

4)  From here on all fights involving Hisoka are fake because he can raise anyone from the dead in similar manner.  He could even appear on the scene days later and still raise presumably dead people from the dead with this new power.

5)  Hunter x Hunter always styled itself as a serious, dark, gritty, realistic alternative shonen jump series compared to Dragon Ball, One Piece or Naruto where no one ever dies and there's always a get out of death free card floating around in the background.  You felt that Togashi, unlike these other authors, would really put his characters in peril because Togashi isn't playing a child's game.  That reputation is now gone, kaput, over.  He brought Hisoka back to life simply because either he or the fans really liked the character, which means there's nothing but wish fulfillment in this story, just like with Dragon Ball.  In fact, just like with Dragon Ball, Hunter x Hunter literally has a guy who can just grant and fulfill wishes at will, so this series is a total joke as far as a drama goes.

6)  This was the third strike.  The first strike was that dumbass bomb that killed Mereum out of the blue.  The second strike was the magical wish granting power of Alluka to heal Gon from his supposed 'high price sacrifice' he took in order to beat Pitou.  Now Hisoka has revived himself from the dead after being put in an impossible situation, neatly avoiding the consequences of his own decisions.  Three times we the readers have been cheated by the author's divine intervention in a completely unrealistic immersion breaking plot twist.

There are still good things about Hunter x Hunter, like Gon and Killua's relationship, so I won't throw it out of my rankings entirely.  But let's face it, Hunter x Hunter is not the epic masterpiece everyone keeps calling it.  It has more holes in it than swiss cheese at this point.

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