Warcraft Movie: Review

I will try to give my opinion without spoilers, because it’s not release date yet in many countries.

So, I didn’t manage to go to the movie premiere on May 26. There was much fuss about preparing and going to my brother’s wedding. And yet, right after me and my wife returned home from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg, we immediately went to IMAX. We did not even visit our flat after train to change or leave our luggage :) Well, actually cinema is the next building to railway station, so.

– Lok’tar ogar!
– We don’t like any Horde here…
(dialogue between audience in cinema)

Let’s say I had mixed feelings after the movie. It was both amazing and awful, shared among different aspects. We need to list it then.

Plot

I’m a fan of the universe since mid 90s. I’ve started my acquaintance with Warcraft saga with Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and followed all the story ever since. Within WoW I’m a lore maniac – it’s actually one of the main reasons why I play the game. I am carefully digging out the smallest quest chains and following the bigger history and mythology. So lore is kind of important for me.

Yet I understand that a movie script must deviate from game lore. If you carefully copy all the events, it may be boring to watch. Movie and game are different entertainment, so we should expect changes.

Let’s say I’m pleased with the plot in general. The main storylines are there. There’s Medivh, there’s Garona, Gul’dan, Khadgar, Anduin Lothar and other heroes and villains of the First War. They are all doing what they should do according to lore. Their motives and reasons are there. Yet the first war ended a bit another way but it may play out well in sequel.

From what I’ve heard, Duncan Jones had to cut like 30-40 minutes of the movie for theaters. If so, it didn’t play well. The pace of the film is pretty strange, and I almost felt where the cutting scissors were put in use. Sometimes it’s rushing, sometimes it’s boring, not every character or situation are paid enough attention. I must see director’s cut version by all means. If there’s gonna be a sequel, there’s much room for improvement. Putting all scenes in their places.

Actors

Let’s talk Stormwind human actors here and leave CGI for later.

I liked Medivh and Khadgar very much. Ben Foster and Ben Schnetzer really nailed their characters, they are very vivid and believable to the bone.

Garona appeared to be not so bad like critics wrote. There were some questions about her, but all in all Paula Patton was nice.

The main shit about the whole film was the performance – or rather, absence of performance from Dominic Cooper and Travis Fimmel. Dominic Cooper’s actor skills in Warcraft are best compared to a log in the woods. All in all he behaves like he doesn’t know what he’s doing here. He looks like a guy who came to Comic Con in a cosplay he didn’t really want to wear. He just ruins all the ambiance, being very bored at the filming stage. And since we see much of King Llane, it’s a total disaster for the movie in whole. He’s a candidate number one for Golden Raspberry – give him 10 please.

Anduin Lothar is a bit better, yet it seems that neither him nor the director could decide which kind of character they actually wanted. He sometimes shines in humorous scenes, he’s moderately ok as a hero knight, but all in all he didn’t make a believable character. There were too many personality perks put in one man, too many character types, and he didn’t manage to convince us in any of them.

CGI-actors, creatures and scenery

If you remember how people told you to run and see Avatar (3D only!) – I would say the same about Warcraft. It’s a feast for the eyes. IMAX was worth every cent paid for the ticket.

I was shit scared of Gul’dan. It’s the creepiest portrayal of him ever and a stunning performance by Daniel Wu.

There were goddamn believable and awesome orc characters – Durotan, Orgrim, Draka, Blackhand were amazing. Compared to shallow Lothar and Llane… no, let’s not even compare. How they move, talk, what they feel and what they do – the Horde shines here.

Dwarfs are very cool. They couldn’t be any better. I’m very confident about trolls, goblins and gnomes in sequels now.

High elves and Antonidas were…. erhm. I didn’t like the glow in their eyes – it’s a bit too much and artificial, along with resin elven ears. Btw, I’m okay that one of the elves was Asian :) Why not?

Animals are awesome, even if they were few. Frostwolf clan wolves and Stormwind griffins act both as mounts and weapons of doom. You will abandon your shitty drakes in the game and return to the basic mounts after the movie, I promise.

And the scenery. You will cry your eyes out from seeing the familiar landscapes, pictured with love and care and the most juicy colors I’ve seen in a long time.

Magic – well, magic it is. Arcane could easily be named yet another character. There’s much detail and care put in all the spells. It was wow – and WoW.

All the visuals are why Warcraft is a must-see movie.

Brutality

Warcraft is brutal. All the battles can boast with extreme violence – which is awesome. We must keep it like that in sequels, the savagery must be there. When battles begin, you forget about everything except the screen.

Music

Let’s say that Ramin Djawadi is one of my most favorite movie composers, and he did everything right again. The main piece played for 2 hours in my head after the movie ended. And it does now.

Conclusion

All in all the movie looks like a test of epic movie skills from Duncan Jones. There are some drawbacks in storytelling and actors acting, but he managed to bring the magic of Warcraft  universe on screens and let us feel it.

I need to see the movie at least twice while it’s still on in theaters. I need to see director’s cut. And I really need a sequel – without the first movie drawbacks :)

  • Visuals: 10/10
  • Music: 10/10
  • Plot: 7/10
  • Actors (humans): 3/10
  • Actors (CGI): 10/10
  • Easter eggs: 100/10
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3 thoughts on “Warcraft Movie: Review

    • Thank you for the link in your blog. Actually I saw it in St:Petersburg where I live :) I’ve been in Moscow for a pair of days for my brother’s wedding and watched the movie on my return :)

      Like

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