Holy crap! Did we finally do it? Did we finally get a great video game movie?! … kinda.
Warcraft takes us right back to the beginning, where Orcs arrive in Azeroth through a portal with the goal of creating a new home, as their world has died. They mean to do so by force, and it is up to the humans to stop them from re-opening the portal that connects the two worlds, and thus stop the rest of the Orc “horde” from entering Azeroth and inevitably conquering it.
Can’t fault them from wanting to start form the beginning of the lore, but does it make a great movie? Again… kinda.
The amount of love and detail that has gone into creating this world on the silver screen is so obvious that I don’t think anyone would dare to argue about it. But the problem is that this love has kinda resulted in a little, and I do stress a little, alienation of people that have no experience with the Warcraft lore.
I’ve played many of the games before, so I wasn’t too lost, but my wife, JieYing, who was sat next to me was not so fortunate. She has no experience at all with anything to do with Warcraft and this did lead her to at times look a little confused. And here is the main issue with the movie; it is very easy to get lost. I don’t mean get lost in the story. No. The writers have done a good job at making the story’s basic structure very easy to understand. Where it is easy to get lost is with the details. Take for example, the names.
While writing this article I had to look up every single name of the characters from the movie. That’s not good. If I can’t remember a single person’s name, can I really grow an attachment to any of them? Not really. I mean it’s still sad when you see one of them die, but there’s no real connection there, so the feeling goes away fast. Don’t think it matters how connected you are? Consider this:
In the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, we are introduced to the character Boromir about half way through the movie, and yet his death is so heart breaking that I have seen many people cry at the moment of his death at the end of the movie. That is not a lot of time to grow an attachment like that to a character, and yet it was achieved beautifully and stuck with people as a result. Now I guarantee you that if you watched both Warcraft and Fellowship of the Ring today (in any order) and then waited a month, you would remember more details about Boromir’s death than any of the characters that have died in the Warcraft movie.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie is beautifully made, the CGI is probably the best I’ve seen and the fights are fantastic to watch. But this already long movie feels so rushed to me and like they were trying to throw too many characters at us at once. However, I cannot deny one thing: I have not once in this article said it was bad, and that is something I have never not done about a video game movie.
Despite its faults, this movie is fun, highly enjoyable, and a great start at improving the video game movie genre. When I walked out of the cinema with my wife, who is not a big gamer, and generally hates watching anything video game related, and she said “That was pretty awesome!“ then you know that somebody has done something right! So that’s how I will view this movie: a start in the right direction. I look forward to seeing if video game movies can continue going in the right direction.