Warcraft had a ton of hype going for it. Based on one of the most enduring video game franchises of the past 30 years, Warcraft is for all intents and purposes a household name at this point. Chances are either you or a loved one has logged in countless hours with the popular games by Blizzard so it should come to no surprise that a movie would have showed up at some point. However, aren’t video game movies usually pretty bad? Would the Warcraft movie be any different? Uwe Boll wasn’t anywhere near this thing! Unfortunately, it isn’t the greatest video game movie of all time but it is far from the terrible movie it is being portrayed as. Don’t worry – we’ll go over the important bits in this Warcraft movie review!
THE GOOD: I should preface my Warcraft movie review by saying that I am one of those people that played the ever-loving hell out of Warcraft. I’m not even just talking World of Warcraft – I’ve been playing the series since the original game and I was a big fan of Elven Archers. FOR THE ALLIANCE! Um, any-who, Warcraft definitely stays almost slavishly true to the source material. From the look of the Stormwind Foot Soldiers to Iron Man, Warcraft bleeds the classic Blizzard style. The CGI is immensely impressive though and the Orcs and Gul’Dan were represented in a fantastic manner (Gul’Dan in particular).
There was also ton of fan service; everything from a murloc to a passing comment about how polymorph only lasts around a minute will have the hardcore fans squealing with glee. You also see a ton of characters that the normal layman wouldn’t be able to pick up. I was particularly enthused by the appearance of Medivh’s tormented butler, Moroes!
THE BAD: Unfortunately for Warcraft, its unwavering dedication to the source material makes it hard for the normal viewer to follow. I had seen the movie with one of my friends who had played the game but had not paid attention to the lore to the extent that I had. I often found myself reminding him of who each person was. “Oh, that’s kid Varian Wrynn who will end up King of the Alliance” or “Hey, look…it’s Hellscream, Doomhammer, and Durotan (no Cho’Gall though…such a pity)!” There’s even a scene at the very beginning that shows captive Draenei but the scene is over super quick and I don’t think most people would even remember or care what happened. I tend to think that those sort of things hurt the reviews.
THE UGLY: Warcraft suffers the most by trying to stuff so many characters into one movie and cover such ground while clearly setting up a franchise. That shouldn’t be a problem, but by the end of the movie I really wanted Gul’Dan to be bad and Ner’Zhul introduced but that wasn’t the case. There’s no real resolution to the plot and the corruption of Medivh isn’t really explained. Sure, I knew that Medivh was corrupted at birth by the Burning Legion and he was the one who opened up the Dark Portal but they don’t really go over that in the movie. Medivh just kind of gets green-eyed and demonic and then BAM. Over. I would have preferred some more time on the character considering how important he is to the rest of the plot but perhaps they are saving flashbacks or something. The ‘Ugly’ here is really just the editing.
FINAL VERDICT: All in all, Warcraft has monster production values and doesn’t falter as much as one might expect from the reviews though Warcraft is clearly meant for the fans of the series and not your average Joe. If you ever considered yourself a fan of Warcraft, you will probably be entertained by the movie. If the extent of your Warcraft experience goes as far as the South Park episode then you might get a little lost.