Movie Review: Warcraft

Published on June 13th, 2016 in: Action Movies, Current Faves, Gaming, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro

durotan_anduin

After years of waiting, between only fans wishing for it to multiple setbacks, the Warcraft movie finally crashed onto movie screens this weekend. Thus far, it has earned a lowly 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, and many reviews of the movie have not been good. I’ve never been one to take a reviewer’s word for it when it comes to movies, otherwise I would never have bothered with Pacific Rim, Starship Troopers, and many others that have found their way onto my DVD shelf. I ventured out today thanks to the kindness of a friend who also wanted to see it.

I was NOT disappointed in the least. So many times, video game movie adaptations come off hokey and things are just so completely wrong that those involved with it are almost cursed after the movie’s release (I’m looking at you, Prince of Persia).


dark portal

The movie sports a star-studded cast, including new and veteran actors alike. Centered primarily around Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel, Vikings), and Durotan (Toby Kebbell, Kong: Skull Island), the story revolves around the orcs’ invasion of Azeroth. Also included in this movie are Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer), Orgrim Doomhammer (Robert Kazinsky), Blackhand (Clancy Brown), Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), Garona (Paula Patton), King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper), Medivh (pronounced Med-iv, Ben Foster), and Draka (Anna Galvin).

Why should you see it, though?

There’s a serious influx of superhero movies of late, and not to knock them in the slightest, so many movies in the past few years are just a regurgitation of the same things we’ve already seen. It’s about time for something a little different, even if it’s derivative of a game. We need—no, we crave—to throw ourselves into worlds previously unexplored, rather than throw ourselves into the comfort zones of Middle Earth, Hogwarts, the Marvel Universe, the DC Universe, and the umpteen billion sequels of movies made more than 15 years ago. It’s high time for something else to come along and draw us in, allowing us to suspend our disbelief for a few hours and absorb everything Azeroth has to offer.

Khadgar

While the movie does rely heavily upon special effects to carry out the storytelling, as is befitting of a movie based on a video game, the plot is solid. There are plenty of easter eggs included to slake the thirst of long-time players of the game, but even those unfamiliar with the game should find this an enjoyable movie to watch. I’ve personally played World of Warcraft for most of the 10 years it’s been around, with several break periods, but something about the game has always drawn me back in. With the introduction of the Warlords of Draenor expansion (which much of the movie references), I spent a considerable amount of time actually reading the quest text fluff and absorbing lore where I had not honestly bothered before. Within the movie, everything looks as I would have expected, with the exception of spellcasting effects. Those effects specifically were well beyond my wildest imaginings. All the way across the board, between casting choices, to special effects, scenery, and costuming, I have zero complaints.

Baby Thrall and Durotan

So far there has been no official word as to whether or not the movie will get a sequel, but the closing scenes certainly leave room for it. I truly hope it gets that opportunity, simply because of the storylines surrounding Thrall’s rise to power as warchief of the orcs. Even if you don’t want to dole out the cash to see it in the theater (I highly recommend the 3D showings), you should at least catch it on DVD once it’s available. Maybe, just maybe, with this movie’s success, it will pave the way for other game to movie adaptations to stop being treated as a joke and start earning the respect they deserve.

In closing: FOR THE HORDE!

horde symbol

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