The reviews are in for Josh Duhamel in ‘Call of Duty: WWII,’ and he did pretty OK
Lately, Josh Duhamel has been taking a back seat to MVP-in-training Carson Wentz and Miss America Cara Mund in the Most Famous North Dakotan Category.
Perk up your ears though, Joshies (I assume that’s what his fans call themselves?), because Duhamel has a starring role in one of the biggest blockbuster releases of the year. The hunky 45-year-old Minot native plays a starring role in “Call of Duty: WWII,” the latest in the mammoth Activision video game franchise that spans 14 titles dating back to 2003.
It was released on Nov. 3, and its first three days of sales “Call of Duty: WWII” made $500 million, Gamespot reported. "Our $500 million opening weekend was not only bigger than ‘Thor: Ragnarok's,’ it was bigger than the opening weekends of both ‘Thor’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ combined," said Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg.
(If you want a Wentz-worthy comparison, that’s almost half the worth of an average NFL team, according to Forbes.)
In the game, Duhamel plays Sgt. William Pierson, a hard-nosed companion to the character used by you, the player. The character is portrayed in Duhamel’s voice and likeness through the magic of motion capture technology, something Duhamel touched on in an interview for the Hollywood Reporter back in April:
"Once you get past the tight suit and the little ping pong balls, it feels like you're doing theater," he said.
How did he do? Video game reviews have a few other priorities (like gameplay and graphics) over the performance of the game’s actors, but a few did take note of Duhamel’s performance, some with an eye toward the game’s apparent by-the-numbers character design:
The repartee among your squad mates draws you in just as it does in the best war films like Saving Private Ryan. And there's plenty of drama in the squad. Transformers star Josh Duhamel provides the likeness, voice and motions for Sgt. Pierson, who doesn't see eye to eye with Lt. Turner -- a command dynamic reminiscent of Vietnam War film Platoon. - KSDK/USA Today
And while the war-hardened William Pierson is an dispassionate commanding officer effectively played by Josh Duhamel, his eagle-eye skill with binoculars allows you to spot outlines of nearby enemies. - Gamespot
At times, it feels like an interactive version of every war movie you’ve ever seen, though its archetypes are mostly well-played. Josh Duhamel stands out as a crotchety sergeant and Jonathan Tucker is better still as a smart-mouthed squaddie with a heart, compensating for Brett Zimmerman’s rather bland lead. - The Telegraph
His squadmates include some familiar war story tropes: a nerdy, bespectacled photog; a smart-ass, tough-as-nails Jewish kid from Chicago; and a gruff, “orders above all else” sergeant played by Josh Duhamel. - Polygon
One redditor wasn't really buying any of it, however:
Many of the actors do a fine job in delivering their exposition in a believable way, with the exception of Daniels (who you’ll be controlling) and Josh Duhamel. - r/truegaming