Warcraft Movie: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Warcraft: The Beginning(2016)
Warcraft: The Beginning(2016)

Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) 
PG-13  |  123 min  |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  10 June 2016 (USA)

Director: Duncan Jones

Stars: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster

Synopsis: The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another.

No Spoilers Review:  As a World of Warcraft player of 10 years(and counting) I have been waiting with bated breath to see this movie in a theatre. When director Duncan Jones first announced that he would take the reins to bring Warcraft to digital life,  I was one of many fans screaming in delight. Little did I know that when it finally did come to the big screen that my first impression would be of discomfort and small bouts of disappointment. No movie is perfect.  Despite having a compelling soundtrack and stunning visual background scenes, Warcraft never breaks free from the chains of its choppy editing, awkward dialogue, and emotionless acting.
Khadger in the Warcraft Movie
Khadger in the streets of Stormwind
A few good points of the movie is that the costumes are nicely detailed as are the main sets where the characters gather together. The stunning visual background scenes leaves a person wondering if it is all purely CGI or a carefully detailed constructed area of design. What fun it must have been for the actors walking around in a real life Stormwind scene set. There is also plenty of fun Easter eggs for World of Warcraft fans to hunt out while watching the movie. Several times I found myself lightly clapping in glee when I spotted a familiar place or NPC character from the MMORPG. As a fan I appreciated the amount of detail put together in making the costumes, spells, and locations true to the game. Not once did I think that any of those things did not fit the tone of the movie.
Garona and Medievh in Warcraft movie
Everyone loves or pines for Garona in some way in the Warcraft movie. Seriously.
There are also several bad points to Warcraft as well. In fact, quite a few that weigh down the movie to the point that it affected my opinion of the ending. The first is that the movie is described as an Action Adventure with Fantasy elements. Truth be told, the movie should be labeled only as a Dark Fantasy genre as it incorporates several dark and frightening themes with elements of horror. These moments in the film left my friends and myself shifting in our seats in discomfort. And there are a number of those moments sprinkled through-out the film.
Warcraft Movie: Travis Fimmel
Mr. Poker-face himself in the Warcraft Movie
Warcraft also suffered from choppy editing, fast pacing, and questionable dialogue. I felt as if there was no time given to relate to any of the characters because scenes literally jump from one location to the next in a space of a few minutes. If there was a theme or a feeling the movie was suppose to evoke, a person is not given the chance to experience it. Speaking of lack of feeling, Lothar, played by actor Travis Fimmel leads the cast with this malady. Long pauses or slow speaking while characters converse with one another before quickly adding a single word at the end of their sentence only underscores the odd writing. Many moments in the film where there should be intense emotions are left rather bland with poker-faced acting.

A minor personal quirk of mine is that I felt that various scenes were filler(Forced romance is bad) spots that did nothing to progress the characters or the plot.
I wouldn't mind living there. Maybe somewhere by the Dwarven District.
Despite the short-comings, the movie is worth a watch. Visually it is beautiful with a moving music soundtrack that adds to the eye candy on screen. Warcraft is not a bad movie but it also is simply an okay one that was tailored to fans of the Warcraft franchise. Non-fans will find themselves wondering why certain characters are important and what the heck is going on in several instances.

If there is a sequel, I can only hope that the director takes into consideration what worked against the movie to not repeat the same mistakes. The World of Warcraft is rich in lore with interesting characters and I would love to see even more of it on screen in the near future.

Bonus Picture(altered by my basic Photoshop skills):
Warcraft Movie: High Elves
High Elves.
As a long-time Night and Blood Elf player I truly wanted more of these two on screen. Perhaps next time...

Personal rating: 6.5/10 stars 
-Masaya Silverwynde


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