Mercy of the Sea, Runner Up in the Action/Adventure category of the BlizzCon 2008 movie contest, is a long film, clocking in at over 23 minutes. The clip embedded above is only the first act of three acts total. You can watch the entire film by streaming it, downloading it, or watching the three YouTube clips in order. Sleeping Dogs Productions, headed by J. Joshua Diltz, which also created Rise of the Living Dead and The Island, now brings us the tale of High Priestess Elunari as she tries to rescue her kidnapped child from her power-hungry husband, the Arch Druid. Of the BlizzCon-entered movies I've watched this year, this one is my least favorite.
While it is an undoubtedly polished production -- the voice talents, music, and sound design stand out in particular -- the story struggled to keep my interest, sometimes from plain confusion. The backstory takes up the first 3-1/2 minutes of the film and is told without animation, via what is essentially a slide show. It moves very slowly and provides little that we don't understand from context later. (As such, I would recommend axing the narrated backstory altogether.)
Then, ironically, much of the action in the main portion of the film was difficult for me to follow. The battle scenes were too cluttered with closeups and blur-effects to make much sense to me. Most times I couldn't even tell what spells were being cast or who was fighting whom. I never figured out how the Priestess escaped, who died overall, or why the "core" meltdown occurred. Nor was I able to follow the action well enough to figure out how the Arch Druid caught up to the Priestess at the end of the film, much less why either of them were still alive after their fiery collision. Without adding spoilers, I also can't figure out how the ending events occurred either. There were too many quick cuts, too many out-of-context closeups, too much deus ex machina, too much backstory and not enough battle context for me to enjoy the film.
Tomorrow we'll take a look at Fruit of Elune by Myndflame to wrap up our BlizzCon movie contest coverage.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.