This article will contain spoilers – if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t know what happens in it, please go no further.
Warcraft stems from impressive roots. It exists in a world created by minds who have woven a deep fabric of lore and story around the bones of their ideas. It has more than 20 years of writing, re-writing, character creation and story arc to work with, and the entire team at Blizzard Entertainment to draw from.
It felt, however, rushed. There are of course, constraints in turning a book – or a game, in this case – into a movie in terms of the amount you’re able to fit in, but even knowing the backstory behind the movie I found it a little hard to follow along with the jumping between scenes. The movie begins with the orc invasion into what was then the Black Morass – now known as the Blasted Lands in Kalimdor. The orcs are impressive, with us first being introduced to the might Durotan, warchief of the Frostwolf clan and his wife Draka who is heavily pregnant. They look impressive, with the motion capture and CGI effects on point, creating an orc precisely as I would imagine – although they are considerably larger than indicated in game. The scope of the horde is shown in a scene where the warlock Gul’Dan rallies his forces and prepares to open the Dark Portal, and once again, it is an impressive sight.
And then we move to Ironforge, our first view of the not-yet Alliance. Shown for a little under 5 minutes, it is the audience’s first and only view of Ironforge. Upon seeing the familiar mountain face surrounded by snow and ice, I was excited to delve into the city I knew so well, but it seems that it was added precisely to show two dwarves and give World of Warcraft players something to connect with.
The humans are what mostly made the movie feel empty to me – stiff acting paired with a Khadgar that seems inspired by the BBC’s Merlin and a distinct lack of everything that makes Warcraft Warcraft exciting for me. There were two mages in the entirety of the movie – Khadgar and Medivh, and evidently everyone else was a warrior. Assuming that King Llane was a paladin.
While the humans fell very flat for me, and the orcs were surprisingly my favourite, the movie itself, removing everything I know about Warcraft and adding only my enjoyment of fantasy, was entertaining enough to keep me interested throughout. There were a few times I turned to my husband in amazement – did you see that?! – and other times I wished honestly that Blizzard would just create their own animated movie.
All in all, I feel the movie earns itself a 6/10 – I would not pay to see it in theaters again, but I do await the next installment and will buy the blu-ray.
Have you seen the Warcraft movie? What did you think of it? Leave your answers in the comments below!