For those of you that caught the trailer, which itself was fantastic, at the end of my 'Kung Fu Panda goes WoW' post earlier this month, here is the final product. More to the point, here is the review. After such a top notch trailer, and having been in production for 5 years (since the early stages of the game) of course, I felt this, like any real box office film, deserved some attention. It important to bear in mind that; this is made purely for entertainment. The author(s) are not being paid to go out of their way to make this. It is a fan-made creation. So respect the hard work and commitment, of Fubarius and his team.
"The Hunt" tells the story of how two seemingly-unrelated paths, of a power-hungry bounty hunter (Fubarius Shadesong) and a weathered veteran of war (Bron Ragetotem), shall finally cross, as foreseen by the Earthmother herself. Production on "The Hunt" began sometime in 2006. Now, nearly five-and-a-half years later, the tale must finally be told.
Storyline and Plot
Prior knowledge about World of Warcraft and any of it's surrounding history is not required to enjoy this feature-length movie. However, that's not to say it won't cater for those die-hard lore fans out there. With references to old/new heroes and, to many, various unheard of beings of power. There is a good balance between having the story laid out in front of you, and having previous background information to create your own assumptions and suspicions.
The story follows the ventures of two very individual groups and sets of characters, each who have a 'hero' standing out among them. Focusing around the invasion of the burning legion, a story is told like no other. With demons corrupting the souls of many, knowing who to trust becomes difficult. What makes this all the more, is having a narrator who intervenes at particular points.
Having paths, from both parties, destined to cross, the adventure leads you on a trial of adventure and mystery. Riddled with a few twists and "Wait, what the?!", it manages to keep you watching from start to finish. Even if at some sections, the relevance seems unclear.
Beginning with the bounty hunter, as described by the author, played by a one-eyed night elf, this characters profile is very quickly built up. Fitted a very curious heart and the will to do good and fight evil, we see how much someone would be willing to do, in Azeroth, to deter the might of the burning legion. Though as we come to understand, 'the hunt' may just become 'the obsession'.
We then have our druid-like Tauren, who plays the stereotypical role of a wise-one following the visions of the gods. Although, with his companion, a sign of change is to come for this Hero. Over the years, becoming honed at the art of battle with his lethal weapon, old age begins to take it's toll. Though never underestimate the threat of the patient.
Alongside the two main protagonists, we have a selection of other contenders for the spotlight. You have the loud mouthed Paladin, who isn't quite sure of himself or his surroundings. A rather peculiar, yet daringly familiar barmaid (you'll know the one I mean when you watch). The senate of wise Shamans. A young aspiring Tauren, who accompanies one of our main characters in heeding the call of the Earthmother, and many more.
All Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone and Mr.T links aside, the voice acting is a mile away from the run-in-the-mill old English accents we're used to. Although becoming a little overworked, they do a good job of setting an American Gangster style feel. Especially with the Narrator in mind. To note, at times you do become uncertain of who is talking, not enough to knock it down though.
From Fight scenes raging across the forests of Terrokar, to vast shots from the sands of Siliceous. There has been maximum use of all the landscapes that WoW, in-game, has to offer. New and old.
The use of camera angles and tricks, at almost every section of the film, really made it for me. Especially when in the intense situations. Each scenario has been crafted with a set atmosphere in mind. Of which I think has been nailed. Whether it's a flashback, or an emotional heartache, the mood is captured brilliantly. At points, certain effects do become a slight too much. Attention to detail is just extraordinary.
There is no doubt that this is a brilliant piece of Machinima in it's own right. I feel it's on the verge of being more than. Yes, there are points when you feel a little lost, but it does a good of picking you up again and reassuring you. The only point I can really say goes against it is it's time in production. Indeed, 5 years sure is a great deal of time to come up with a mind blowing spectacle. However I feel that is what bites it in the butt. Having it spread out over such a period lies wait to a lot of change. This is the feeling that effect gave me when it come to the ending. Though, the entertainment value, quality, and sheer effort that has been put into the whole making is unmeasurable. This should pave the way for future WoW, and gaming, machinimas.
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