Warcraft, the movie, is a video game movie inspired by the long running and long loved video game, World of Warcraft, or WoW for short. Full of fantasy and adventure, Warcraft focuses on the fight between Orcs and Humans, a key conflict in the lore of WoW. Going into any more of an explanation of plot would require great lengths concerning lore, which can be found extensively here, but for the sake of a review, is a bit much.
For a video game movie, there were quite a few things that Warcraft and its creators did right. The movie itself required a staggering amount of CGI and graphic effects, but it surprisingly pulled them off quite well. For someone who is generally a graphics snob, I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes the entire time, though my excitement at seeing a beloved game in action could have altered my judgement. The actors generally did very well, and overall it was an enjoyable movie.
However, there were quite a few places where Warcraft fell short. The development of the story and the characters, or lack thereof, would leave the average movie-goer scratching their head. A lack of knowledge about the lore could leave many of those without the patience underwhelmed or simply zoning out.
As someone who does know a bit about the lore of WoW, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the movie. I knew what was happening from the start, and it was exciting to see these stories played out more than just through youtube story-tellers using machinima and artwork shots. (If you’re looking to get into the lore or check out some examples of these, this channel is one of the best channels you can find.) Even then, I found myself researching the lore I didn’t know about, and having to explain even more of what I did know to my partner. I do feel as though if more key information was shared in the movie itself, it could have been better, though the fine line between holding the viewers hand and giving just the right amount of information is easy to cross.
All in all, I would say Warcraft is a movie worth seeing, especially if you’re either A) a long time WoW fan, or B) wanting to see some hardcore Orcs bash in some human skulls. Just like the game, though, to fully appreciate Warcraft requires a decent grasp of lore, something the average person just will not have. It is, however, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed and do hope they take the opportunity they left themselves for a sequel. Hopefully this movie, as well as Blizzard’s consideration to bring back legacy servers, can help save what some consider to be a dying game.
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