For many, many years, my hobby was playing World of Warcraft. I had a full stable of max level characters, and raided regularly with a great guild. I’ve since moved on to other things, and don’t play anymore, but I still have a lot of fond memories of my time with WoW. I was excited to learn about the Warcraft movie, but I never got out to watch it in theaters. So last night we rented it and I got to experience it in all of its CGI glory.
I know that the movie did not get good reviews, and I could immediately tell why. The entire film was basically fan service with homages to tons of different in-game locations. However, if you had never played the game, I can see how you might be confused. The plot moved quickly through location after location, with characters making brief cameos and then never seen from again. For a fan, I absolutely loved it. But, I can see how others would have found it lacking.
The CGI was really well done, but the photorealism also shone a light on how silly some of the Warcraft proportions are. When you’re dealing with graphics that are on the ‘cartoony’ side, you can get away with more. When you try to make it look real, it shows off how ridiculous some of the character sizes are. They still look out of proportion in-game, but seeing them in a photo realistic scene drove the point home.
The story was a great interpretation of the initial orc invasion that started the entire franchise. The orcs partaking in fel magic, and the fall of Medivh were fun to see portrayed, even if not in the way that the game lore specifically said it happened. For a theatrical re-telling, certain license needed to be taken, and I felt that the writers did a great job making the story screen worthy.
I’m happy that Warcraft has been a part of my life, and it was a lot of fun to see it immortalized on the screen. The ending certainly left open the possibility of a sequel, but I doubt it will ever get made. The critical reception just wasn’t that great, and WoW as a game is slowly starting to take a backseat to other gaming experiences. For what it was, the Warcraft movie was a fun way to spend an evening.