The release of Warcraft is the latest attempt from Hollywood to master the tricky art of the video-game adaptation. Something that has so far proven to be very illusive for studios. Is Warcraft the answer? You'll have to check out our proper review of Warcraft here to see. Because unlike a traditional review To 3D Or Not To 3D purely examines and analysis the use of 3D in Warcraft. What we care about is whether you should splash even more of your preciously earned pennies on a 3D ticket.
To figure that out we must ask the age-old question of: to 3D or not to 3D?
Since the world of Warcraft is packed with various characters of all shapes, sizes, and special abilities, it was always going to be a fertile playground for special effects and 3D maestros. Not only do we have the Orcs, who are led by an evil warlock that's able to attain power by sucking the life out of animals, humans, and even his own comrades, but there's also the magical Guardians, as well as an array of bizarre creatures, all of whom then have a gigantic fight. It's what 3D was made for!
Filming on Warcraft actually came to an end in May 2014. Since then, the blockbuster's post-production team have been working on it for close to two years. The use of CGI and special effects is stunning and barely noticeable, giving the film a unique texture and truly making its world of characters come to life. The 3D and IMAX combine to make this an immersive experience, and even though it isn't overtly conspicuous it's still an ever present.
Warcraft only uses 3D to come out of the screen, as if the audience can touch it, on a few occasions. Most noticeably, when some mosquitos are hovering around the Orcs, and when some burning embers emerge from a fire. These touches, while admittedly small, are still nice and pull you in closer to the story and the world of Warcraft. A few more dollops of Before The Window wouldn't have gone amiss, though.
Warcraft's use of depth of field is exceptional throughout its running time, as It's primarily deployed to increase the scope of the blockbuster. On numerous occasions Duncan Jones uses a wide shot to show off the sheer size of either the landscape, an army, a portal, the amount of people imprisoned, the Kingdom, or even a battle. This gives you a chance to get lost in the screen, and explore the world. Jones even uses several long shots to increase the awe and spectacle of the film, which fits hands in hand with both 3D and IMAX.
Duncan Jones and his Warcraft team make sure to use eclectic color palettes to differentiate between its warring factions, something that the use of 3D heightens and adds panache to. The impressive use of color comes to the fore when the Guardian of Tirisfal Medivh (Ben Foster) or his apprentice Khagar (Ben Schnetzer) use their magical powers to either cast a spell or open a portal, as Warcraft makes sure that they shine in an utterly arresting fashion.
Even though taking off your 3D glasses is frowned upon, and makes you look kind of stupid, doing so shows you how much 3D you're getting on screen. Once you take off your glasses, you can see the amount of layers being used to create the 3D effect. Warcraft doesn't always take advantage of its 3D, because it wasn't necessary for every scene, especially those that just involved humans. But when the Orcs were on screen, it was noticeably deployed, and whenever I took my glasses down to check on how much 3D was present, I was never disappointed.
3D can be bad for health, especially if it's used in a haphazard fashion. Not only can headaches and eyestrains develop, but you can also feel a heavy dose of nausea, too. While I personally didn't feel ill following Warcraft, the constant camera pans, the fast-paced action and camerawork might make 3D newbies feel a little worse for wear. Don't worry. You'll never be on the precipice of vomiting on the person who sat in front of you, though.
Final Verdict: While a score of 31/35 isn't utterly emphatic, I strongly urge you to see Warcraft in 3D rather than on a normal screen. Not only does it increase the spectacle and scale of the blockbuster, but it helps to truly make the universe fully realized. For an extra few dollars, you could find yourself in awe of the visuals and special effects that Duncan Jones and his team have been sweating over now for two years. If you don't then you'll have to pay even more attention to the plot, which is something that Warcraft is severely lacking.