Warcraft – 2016 – Movie Review

Good, should’ve been a lot better

Warcraft is a fantasy adventure film is based on the ‘World of Warcraft’ game series. I want to make it clear that I did play a Warcraft game years back but have not been following the ‘Warcraft Lore’ or keeping up with the games. I write this review as a film enthusiast who has just watched a new movie.

Warcraft the movie Review - Movie Cinema Film

Warcraft the movie tells the tale of a world where ‘Orcs’ have landed on the world of ‘Azeroth’ and want to take over from humans. The beginning of the film ‘humanizes’ the orcs as we see a child birth and get introduced to the idea that Orcs are not all evil.

We meet the mage ( sorcerer ) Medivh ( Ben Foster ) who is a Guardian to the king and of the region. And the film is set to be a journey into a world of magic and intrigue.

The scene where we see our first encounter between Orcs and Humans shows us that the action we will see through the rest of the film are both about Warriors and Magic.

The film gets a little difficult to follow for the casual audience at times as we are introduced to the politics and internal conflicts among the characters on both the Human and Orcs sides. We find that not all Orcs like their master of Dark Magi Gul’dan ( Daniel Wu from Into the Badlands ). There are interesting characters like the half orc half (?) Garona Halforcen ( Paula Patton ) , King Llane (Dominic Cooper and his commander Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the apprentice mage Khadgar (

Review :
Warcraft the Movie based on the World of Warcraft games is a good beginning to a potential franchise. It’s not a washout like most video game movies and that’s something for the fans to be happy about.

The problem with the film lies with telling the stories of many characters in too little time. The film isn’t incoherent, but it requires some efforts from it’s viewers. That is it’s biggest letdown, for as a commercial film – most audiences do not want to put in the effort.

The director, Duncan Jones, does a recommendable job both with bringing to life the beautiful world of ‘Azeroth’ and setting up a grand visual extravaganza. The director fails at not being able to make the film ‘coherent’ enough for the casual viewers who have no real idea about the World of Warcraft – have difficulty being able to distinguish the orc characters and keeping up with the multitude of events taking place on screen.

The characters seem to have a lot more background and depth than what is revealed to us in the film and that is a result of trying to cram too much of the lore into a film. Most characters seem rather simple without any real conflict. The ones that seem interesting are fleetingly on screen and we are off to the next scene. I understand that a certain ‘depth’ is too much to ask from a ‘blockbuster’, but considering the source material, and that most ‘World of Warcraft’ fans would likely be in their 30s and 40s – the film could have tried to experiment with more mature characters.

The VFX is top notch, especially bringing the Orcs to life so beautifully. The world of mage and sorcery is well visualized and the battle scenes are top class – especially the climatic battle. You might notice that I haven’t said that the battle was ‘Epic’ – that is my personal gripe with this film. It could have done quite better on the ‘action’ part.

The fans of the game I hope would be happy with the film. As I said earlier, we don’t want to cover if the film is true to the source material – no film truly captures the entire breadth of the source material. But from the studio and the team involved there seem to have been serious efforts to capture the world of Warcraft in all it’s glory. And that is to be appreciated.

The film will draw comparisons to both the comic book movies being churned out and the fantasy classics from the last decade – the Lord of the Ring films. Both comparisons I believe are unfair. Warcraft ( the film ) started on a journey to document the lore of a popular game series on film – it has it’s own unique characters and a world that’s a refreshing change from the now regular superhero films. It’s not backed by literature classics like the work of Tolkein. The film is a better than expected adaptation of a video game.

Warcraft the movie has some flaws but it manages to hold it’s own and win some fans.

The film sets up the franchise nicely and I for one sure look forward to watching the next film in the series. I hope for the sake of both the studio and the fans of the Warcraft games that it is a much better written film and carefully handled.