I’ve not played Warcraft/World of Warcraft. But I’ve been exposed to it via people I love. In fact, my brother playing WoW might be one of the factors that led me to my husband as they played this game together. In fact, the game has a bit of spot in my heart…both warm, and icy cold, but that’s not why we’re here.
My brother, C, and, my husband, The Tenor both have told me a lot about the lore, as well as some manga I’ve read via Tokyopop. I LOVE high fantasy as a movie genre, and since the end of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (LotR) and Harry Potter (HP) movies I’ve been jonesing for a decent fantasy flick. One that isn’t so “Asylum”/SyFy Original Feature level of corny and…well, poor graphics (looking at you too, OUaT).
Last year in Hall H the hype. Got. REAL! I cannot recall a time when the sides of the cavernous “room” (stadium might be more accurate) were utilized. Legendary brought it’s A-game and I’ve been excited ever since. But I did not have any faith or hope in the cast or script. I just thought I’d have a good time.
The synopsis of the movie from the official site: “The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.”
Warcraft is easily the best video game adapted to a movie ever (well, so far…I’m waiting for Assassin’s Creed this December)! I realize this isn’t saying much, because it’s also NOT the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nor Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (of which I will forever sing it’s well deserved praises not merely as a “movie” but as a f**king “FILM”).
While the cast are not “no names” they also aren’t A-List…which works brilliantly, as it lets them shine in their roles, and, lends to their portrayals being just their characters. I also enjoyed the fact that SO MUCH HAPPENS! It left no time for bulls**t plot devices and f**kery!
Characters acted within their established personas responses…it was natural, but STILL progressed the plot. Doubt & skepticism wasn’t just there for “needed” dramatic tension. It was based on the actions of a character. In fact one could argue that there was one point where there should have been doubt for Garona (half orc woman) but, as she is addressed by Lady Taria, we find out that Azeroth (the world where the orcs travel to) has lived in peace with all people and races and species, and that everyone has something they need and usually those things are common amongst each other. I found this extremely relevant to things in the news today, and the movie handled it in a way that wasn’t preachy, nor did it shy away from this (plus, it’s a part of the lore, so whether it’s intentional or not I guess that might not matter to some, but it did to me).
Additionally, the CGI was GREAT! Occasionally I have a difficult time immersing in this, as I’m a huge fan of location-shooting, practical effects, and realism. But this is a BIG FANTASY EPIC!!! And the CGI was actually immersive enough and in IMAX 3D? OMG! It’s lush!!! I’m going to recommend that you pay that extra bit for at least IMAX…and if you can stomach 3D, do it!
The part I was most excited for in Warcraft was Weta’s props! And they were beautiful. They had even made props for the CG characters. The armor, the swords, the hammers, the flintlock pistol: all of it was beautiful! I loved the detail in the designs, and the differentiation between the Orcs clans weapons, and–seperately–the king and his guards swords and armor. BY THE WAY: the royal guard has PoC, and WOMEN!!! Eat that Game of Thrones!!!! (also the queen is black! Again I say: EAT THAT GAME OF THRONES!)
Yes, this movie does require you to suspend some belief (diversity should not be one of those, I’m talking about griffins and sh*t). But that’s fantasy…so, if that’s not your thing, this might not be fun for you (not a diss, I just know some people that’s not their thing…like me with most sports movies). There are some cheesy bits, but not enough to take away for me. Also, the script is a bit dense (see: not overburdened) but the movie lets action speak for it. This I could see being frustrating if you think you’re going into a LotR’s-esque movie full of beautiful and verbose dialogue. This ISN’T this kind of fantasy movie. It’s more action-based, and, moving sh*t forward; which worked for me!
The only thing I wish hadn’t been included is Lothar’s family “issues”. But I haven’t read the canonical source material (though I plan to) so maybe it’s more important than I felt it was. But, I’m also sick of that sort of thing (sorry this isn’t very descriptive, but I’m trying to keep things spoiler free).
Overall, I would say go see it! Be excited for possible sequels, which is honestly a good feeling to have at the end of the movie. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but, I was left wanting more!
I would suggest skipping looking at Rotten Tomatoes for this too. The movie was a great fantasy flick. It was fun, and had a dedication to it’s story it wanted to tell, and dedication to the characters! I didn’t know a lot (like who was who) going in…I just had heard about the orcs and Azeroth. The movie does fill in most of the blanks, and the ones it does not are worthy of a sequel, and, if you go with a friend that’s ever played, they’ll tell you, and you’ll see WHY a sequel would be bitchin’!
I give it 6.5-7/10 **PEW-PEW**s from a blaster pistol! Not perfect by any means, but damn it’s fun to watch!