With the essential failure of the Ratchet and Clank movie Warcraft is being held as the redeemer in the video game movie genre, until the next video game related movie comes out which I believe is Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Unlike Ratchet and Clank this movie comes to audiences with a lot of backstory and lore from both the video games and novelizations. I personally played the original Warcraft on my PC and wasn’t too much into the story, just more focused on the objectives provided at the beginning of each level. I did understand the main concept which was there were two groups, the Horde (bad) and the Alliance (good), who fought for control. The humans were mostly Alliance while the Orcs were part of the Horde, but those weren’t the only other characters in this world. I skipped right to World of Warcraft and that’s when I learned of some of the other races that sided with either the Alliance or the Horde. This is pretty much all you have to know when going into this movie, because the details will be filled in as the movie progresses.
The Orc homeworld Draenor is being destroyed and the Orcs are using the souls of captured humans to open a pathway to Azeroth so that they can continue to live. The pathway can only let in a few clans of Orcs, but once they have crossed they will conquer and use more souls of humans, and of some of their own, to open the pathway and let the rest of the Orcs in. The humans have experienced peace for a long time and when they get word that something has happened they investigate, capture a woman who was a slave to the Orcs and find out that there is an Orc who doesn’t want to fight but just let their people live in peace. This all seems good and dandy, but the main antagonist is Gul’dan who use an Orc mage and wants conquer the humans. It’s revealed that the power being used to open the pathway is called The Fel and it also corrupts and increases power of those who are exposed to it, so Gul’dan also wants to add that to his stat list. I don’t want to go too much into detail because I didn’t say there were spoilers and the movie has only had a limited release so far.
I went into this movie with the knowledge of playing the game a few years ago and not once reading any lore while in games. There were more characters to pay attention to than in Game of Thrones, and I was not going to take the time to remember them as I went around grinding levels. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this movie was both true to the game, because of the names, locations and weapons, but also easy enough for the non Warcraft player to go and understand what was going on.
I make it a point to play as a Mage (Magic) class when ever I can, mostly because they can attack from far and I just really like Mages. I’d like to say, without spoiling anything, that Mages have some of the best representation in a movie that I’ve seen in a long time. Even the amount of time it takes to cast a spell is taken from the game, because some of big area of attack moves take a while to conjure up. Nothing seems cheesy and the spell variation shown is enough to make any Mage class playing go oh sweet he just pulled off a and then they name one of the many spells that are in the game.
Even thought this is called Warcraft, there was some hints at a bigger world and more characters to be shown off in later movies. The movie shows off a few characters in the beginning and then at the end you get to see a whole lot of other races and it ends on a cliffhanger that, if continued, has some really great character growth potential on both the Horde and Alliance side.
All the actors on both sides seemed fine to me and the costumes, locations and weapons were extremely detailed. It’s was nice to see that the armor and weapons that you equip in the game were well represented in movie form. The CG wasn’t that bad, but you could easily tell when a green screen was put into place. As I mentioned above, the magid was well represented and that was done really well to where you knew it was fake but it didn’t look too over the top.
I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would, and look forward to seeing a sequel only to see where they go with the story. As I also mentioned above, the cliff hanger at the end of the movie does leave a lot to be said and done and with good writing this could end up being at least a trilogy of movies.