We get an adaptation of the official sequel to the fan mod of Warcraft III.
Davion (Yuri Lowenthal) is a Dragon Knight (a guy who kills dragons) who discovers that a demon named Terrorblade (JB Blanc) is apparently also killing dragons for a nefarious purpose. Unfortunately, while he might have been able to ignore that normally, Davion finds himself bound to an elderwyrm named Slyrack (Tony Todd). He also encounters the elf princess Mirana (Lara Pulver) and her companion Marci who are on a quest to recover the lotuses stolen from the moon goddess Selemene (Alex Wilton Regan) by roguish elf Fymryn (Freya Tingley). Now Davion must work to get the dragon out of his body while Mirana and Marci work to return the lotuses to their home.
Okay, so I played Warcraft III, but I didn’t play DotA (I’m not a big fan of things like “other humans” when I’m playing video games) or its sequel, which is what this show is actually adapting. Having watched people play it a few times, I’m aware that there really isn’t much in the way of story, instead just having a modest backstory for each of the characters. I think the problem with trying to adapt something like that is that when you write backstory, you don’t necessarily have to worry about how the characters interacted before or how their stories intertwined. You can just go with “this is Meepo, he likes rocks and can clone himself” or “this is Rattletrap, he has a robot suit.” When you actually have to set up the world these characters come from, it starts to lack cohesion, and I think that’s sort of what happened with this show. A lot of the plot seems to kind of drift around more than you want and has more seemingly disconnected points than it should.
Not that there aren’t some great points to this series. The action sequences generally look pretty cool, as do most of the character designs. The writing isn’t bad, at least as far as dialogue goes. It’s not something I’m going to submit for an Emmy, but some of the lines do at least make me laugh when they’re supposed to. A few of the characters, like Luna (Kari Wahlgren), a genocidal leader of Selemene’s army, actually have some solid development despite relatively little screen time. Davion and Mirana, who are the focus of many of the scenes, have some great chemistry as well. On the whole, though, it just ended up being kind of messy.
The biggest problem, though, is that nothing in this show really feels new. I imagine it’s because DotA characters really were mostly just archetypes, but almost all of them seem generic, as do the subplots. The concept of elves being discriminated against has been in a ton of series, the crapsack world take on the fantasy genre is a description of half of Netflix’s original shows, and, honestly, even the designs of the world seem like they were taken from a handful of sources (then again, so was Warcraft).
Overall, it’s not a bad show and it definitely has room to grow, but I’m guessing if you didn’t play the games, this won’t give you the nostalgia rush that it needs to feel worthwhile.
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