Movie Review: Warcraft
June 16, 2016

While not as bad as I might have expected to be, it comes across as a very flawed product. I’m not alone in this as I peruse many reviews and articles, most based around the consensus of… “Meh?”

As far as videogame movies go, this is probably middle tier. My main problem is that the plot hauls ass. Right in the beginning there’s a scene in Ironforge with Lothar and some dwarves that is supposed to establish that mechanized weaponry exists in this universe. Instead the scene blows by, beat for beat, “WE MADE GUNS. OH, YOUR PEOPLE ARE BEING ATTACKED GO GO GO!” And Lothar leaves after an admittedly funny background scene of him fiddling with the gun trying to figure out what it is and how it works.
Which, for the record, is in of itself a massive cliche that I’ve seen a dozen times in other media. “Less tech savvy person puts the barrel into their face”. With varying results.

The best moments of the film are when it actually slows the fuck down to catch its breath and have actual human moments between characters.
Any moment with Durotan and his wife. There’s the very beginning of the movie and midway through when they’re talking about their son.
Khadgar bumbling his way through trying to not admit he wants to bang Garona leads to two of the characters pouring out some of their backstory. It’s fine for the surroundings, in a camp, trying to sleep a night away. They’re killing time. Wonderful.
There’s also a good scene when Durotan meets with the human leadership to deal with the Gul’dan problem. It’s a great cultural exchange that takes a couple minutes while these two leaders figure out how each other function. “With orcs, war solves everything”. Good line.

It’s just that all these “decent” scenes are completely flanked by a plot that just will not slow the fuck down. It’s 95% exposition and I found myself thinking “Movie! Calm the hell down!” multiple times while watching it.
I feel this problem could have either been solved by being a two-parter (Which is a hell of a gamble, since as of this writing only China’s market is really giving Warcraft its current success), or a different script entirely.

The acting is passable if a bit indie levels of cheese, I’m sure they would have done better if anyone actually had any moments where they could breathe. The orcs do fine as they’re primarily CGI, but even their dialog is rushed and point for point lore dropping. I’m pretty sure Ogrim Doomhammer does not say a single line that doesn’t explain part of the world to the audience, and that hurts the film more than anything.

I don’t want to bash the movie like some reviews, who think the movie is broken and awful. I’d disagree, but it helped that I went in with slightly lowered standards as opposed to my brother who was extremely hyped and excited (It’s a problem of his). It’s pretty, well crafted, but in a word?


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honestgamer honestgamer - June 20, 2016 (12:50 PM)
I've spent a lot of time studying what makes fiction and movies work, since I like to write fiction in my spare time, and I've concluded that characterization is the most important aspect of any story for most people. It's also the part of crafting a story that I find the most difficult (though I'm getting better at it), and certainly that seems to be a similar stumbling block for people who write the scripts for video game movies. This particular film's box office haul makes it the most successful video game movie to date, and there likely will be sequels that give the writers time to explore what they did wrong and do better next time around. The general reaction from fans I've seen tends to be "Meh" or "It was actually pretty good." No one seemed to love it, but a number of people are at least ready for a sequel... unlike critics, who savaged it as a terrible film. But they tend to like doing that with any movie that isn't artsy enough, and Warcraft was never going to be artsy.

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