Wot I Think: Warcraft: The Beginning

When it comes to the Warcraft movie I have a foot in both the insider and outsider camps of viewership. I haven’t seriously played a Warcraft game in over ten years and it was never a key part of my own life but I do write about the franchise and hold on to memories of some of the main characters’ comings and goings as well as knowing what it meant to friends. That’s the vantage point from which I’m writing this review.

The movie begins with the incursion of orcs into Azeroth through the Dark Portal setting up for a conflict between the Horde and the current inhabitants of Azeroth, although the movie focuses almost exclusively on the humans.

Within the orc faction we find tensions: awful, power-hungry necromancer Gul’dan has been rubbing Durotan, chieftain of the Frostwolves, up the wrong way because his constant use of fel magic is destructive and Durotan isn’t an idiot. On the Alliance side of the equation you have the king, Llane Wrynn (whose name I kept forgetting so I just thought of him as King Dominic Cooper), sorcerer Medivh and Anduin Lothar as a kind of power triad – regal, magical, warrior. There’s also Khadgar played by Ben Schnetzer – an up and coming rebel wizard prodigy.

Bridging the gap between Horde and Alliance is Paula Patton’s Garona. She’s only half orc and looks a lot closer to human, just with some prosthetic dentistry and greener skin. She also speaks the languages of both sides and acts as a translator at one point as well as forging relationships on either side.

Watching the movie I was struck by how “videogames” it was. With Warcraft I’ve felt that the lore side of the games was this space where characters didn’t really have much depth but they did do a lot of things. It became an exercise in remembering whether a particular character was evil or good at a particular moment in time and what the purpose of that was in terms of moving the plot along. To me it’s dense rather than deep, the characters getting a lot of things done but never really becoming nuanced or complex beyond narratively useful “personally conflicted” moments. Warcraft tends towards tropes and broad strokes and a kind of earnest, busy storytelling that I associate with sagas and soap operas rather than novels and cinema.

That’s not a criticism per se. But where that style can work in the games, padded by missions and activity, it was jarring to see it happening similarly onscreen. The end result for me was this middling experience. Not bad, not good. I wasn’t bored in watching it because it was cramming so much in – plot beat followed plot beat so the earnestness didn’t get a chance to collapse the whole thing under a ponderous weight. But it was also just this string of stuff happening – lots of sequences designed to be 3D “wow” moments, then more plot beats and no-one ever really had a chance to develop a motive or a nuance.

As an example, there’s a love plotline that you can see signposted a mile off, but its development feels more like the characters are hitting certain benchmarks as designated in the Big Book Of How Romance Between Feisty Ladies And Warrior Dudes Must Unfold. There’s a disconnect between the action as dictated by the pace of the plot and where you’d expect the characters to be emotionally at that point.

That approach made it really difficult to develop any emotional attachment to the movie. King Dominic Cooper seemed like a decent chap but I didn’t develop any feelings stronger than that over the course of the film. Lothar was in the Aragorn mould of stubbly fighty leadership but the substance of the latter was missing as was any depth to his familial relationships. And so it continued across most of the cast – I don’t think the script allowed room for anything to actually play out properly.

I mean, put it this way, I’m a cry-er. I cry at acts of heroism, at shameless emotional manipulation, at happy moments, at deaths, at Celine Dion winning a lifetime achievement award at the Billboard Music Awards. If there’s an emotion to be had in a thing I will find it. I meet emotional moments a lot further than halfway and I didn’t feel anything towards this movie. Except maybe some frustration because I never find that 3D screenings are in focus when things are moving fast.

Oh, also there were some laugh-out-loud moments but I’m fairly sure they weren’t the ones I was supposed to be laughing at. Those were the signposted bants which my brain registered as “you just did a bant”. The ones I giggled at were moments of over-earnest fantasy absurdity. I mean, it’s an over-earnest fantasy story so I wasn’t expecting nuance or anything, but, goodness, it was like watching a slew of cutscenes and sometimes it did tip over into ridiculousness for me.

On the positive side, it felt like they got Gul’dan spot on. From his basic look to his mannerisms and his actions. At one point he’s having a clifftop chat near the Portal-in-progress and he’s just casually supping on the life force of some shackled prisoner like an emperor nibbling on grapes.

I’m not sure what Warcraft aficionados will make of it. Director Duncan Jones has been retweeting a lot of praise from Warcraft fans who think it’s spot on and were super excited, and I did find myself having occasional moments of pleasure through recognition – a murloc gurgle, a polymorph jibe, the swoop of a gryphon mount heading out from Stormwind – all of which are linked to enjoyable moments/experiences with the games rather than being intrinsic to the movie.

But for someone on the fringes of the franchise like me it felt like a lore info-dump – a dramatic reconstruction of a WoWWiki entry. I couldn’t keep track of a whole bunch of the similar-sounding names and I had moments where I couldn’t remember Garona’s origins so I spent most of the thing wondering why she was half-human given this is the first time the humans have heard of an orc (she’s actually half-draenei).

I didn’t think the movie was a stinker, but I didn’t think it was interesting or memorable either. Without being steeped in the fandom/lore I didn’t find anyone to invest in or to root for. So, just as I find with the Warcraft games, the film swiftly became about swinging from plot development to plot development until the credits rolled.

Warcraft: The Beginning is out May 30th in the UK, June 10th in the US.

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83 Comments

  1. Xerophyte says:

    It’s strange. I’m not excited about this movie. I’m expecting it to be a mostly rubbish, at best sporadically entertaining CGI spectacle, which early reviews seem to indicate is about the right level of enthusiasm. I’ve still bought a ticket to go see it tomorrow because I’ve played far too much World of Warcraft over the last decade and a half and I feel some sort of weird sunk cost obligation to stick with it.

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      Jekadu says:

      It’s probably utter rubbish and I am going to watch the hell out of it because I need closure after all these years of hearing about it stuck in production hell. Also, what you said.

      • Xerophyte says:

        Trip report: it wasn’t good per se but I was actually more entertained than I expected to be. It’s better than, uh, Dungeon Siege. Or the Dungeons & Dragons movie, to further damn with faint praise.

        It’s Warcraft: The Plot and Aesthetics with generally good production values and pretty decent acting. Unfortunately Warcraft’s plot and aesthetics are both kinda cruddy, but I knew that going in. It’s amusing enough for fans of the franchise, even very jaded fans of the franchise, and you can nod sagely in recognition when Kargath Bladefist and Killrog Deadeye — yes, Warcraft names are really that stupid — pop up as orc extras.

        I think the main problem is that I suspect most of the movie is incomprehensible gibberish if you haven’t played a bunch of Warcraft games. The plot is a ramshackle tower of fantasy inanity, which is admittedly true to the source and something I can kind of gloss over since I already knew it and know to not pay attention. If you’re a normal person with good taste in video games and you need the actual movie to provide sufficient context on its own then you’re going to have a poor time, I think.

    • Phidelt230 says:

      Maybe Games Workshop should have just sued Blizzard to death for rampant IP theft so that maybe this bad movie wouldnt have been made

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        Jekadu says:

        What a strange thing to say. It may be a bad movie, but making it kept hundreds of people employed for several years. I can’t think of a reason why it shouldn’t be allowed to exist.

      • SaintAn says:

        If GW would have stopped Blizzard in the beginning the butterfly effect would be great for gamers.

        MMO gaming would still be alive and we’d have innovation in that genre as it steadily improved, the non-gamers wouldn’t be a plague on gaming, F2P/B2P wouldn’t exist because there wouldn’t be anyone stupid enough to support those scams and there wouldn’t be a need for them with WoW not dominating the genre, the pro-gaming nonsense wouldn’t exist, DOTA wouldn’t be around, and Warcraft 3 and Starcraft wouldn’t have set a standard of how RTS games should be made to be. Warhammer would have probably became a big gaming franchise too without Warcraft.

        • Xerophyte says:

          So … people making successful games along with people not playing games are ruining games?

        • golochuk says:

          This is an unrealistic belief! In all of these things, Blizzard simply filled a role some other company would have stepped into.

          We’d have a similarly play-it-safe MMO dominating the market. F2P would still be a highly effective business model popularized by other companies. Pro-gamers would put some other RTS on a pedestal. DOTA-style games would be pioneered around Warlords Battlecry, or something like that.

          Warhammer would be nothing because of GW’s ineptitude, just as it is here. Non-gamers would continue to be a plague on gaming, whatever that means. Trendy poseurs would continue to call platformers and party RPGs “roguelikes”. Everything would still be terrible and Blizzard would make snowblowers.

        • Viral Frog says:

          So, my takeaway about MMO gaming from your post… You think Blizzard made such a great, widely successful game, that they’re awful for doing so. Other companies don’t have the intellect to try to make something new, and instead copy tried and true designs while consistently failing at them, and you think that’s Blizzard’s fault? Hmm.

      • mpk says:

        I’m not the biggest font of knowledge when it comes to early Warcraft games (or current, for that matter), but I wonder why you feel Games Workshop would sue Blizzard? Both of their fantasy worlds are heavily dependant on tropes begun by Tolkien, filtered through Dungeons & Dragons and fed by an increasingly rampant pop-cultural consumption. The environments and background lore may be original, but the characters and races within certainly aren’t.

        • naetharu says:

          The original Warcraft game was supposed to be a Warhammer RTS until GW pulled out late in the game. Blizzard decided to keep the game, and simply change the lore to save their work.

          This is the reason that there are some many common features shared between the WC and GW universes and I assume what is being tacitly referred to above.

          As to whether GW could have done anything I very much doubt it. While there are plenty of common aspects they are all somewhat generic, stemming from pre-existing popular culture and folklore.

          • mpk says:

            Ah, that explains it. Thank you gentlebeing, and blessings on your house.

      • sumdood says:

        It would be bad business to sue. More people are probably aware of Warhammer because of Warcraft. Without Warcraft, the only people that would be aware of Warhammer are 40+ year old board game geeks.

        • Someoldguy says:

          …and pen and paper RPG geeks, please. Warhammer Fantasy RPG (1st & 2nd Ed) is actually a far better game that WFB in my book, which has always been just a vehicle to sell overpriced minifigures.

  2. Runty McTall says:

    Sounds a solid 7.

    The trailer for this left me completely unmoved so I guess the people that put it together are to be commended – sounds like they accurately captured what the movie as a whole is like!

    I played the Warcraft RTSs but never WoW though, so maybe I’m not clued up for the fanboy “OMG it’s in the flesh!” moments.

    Thanks for the review Pip.

    • SaintAn says:

      Really shouldn’t take anything Pip says as reliable. It’s been getting pretty poor reviews from reliable and knowledgeable writers, so more like a 3 or 4.

      • Runty McTall says:

        Not really sure what to say to this – I like Pup’s writing, here and elsewhere!

        On the score “sounds like a 7” is a running joke about video games websites scoring even very mediocre things in the middle of the curve.

  3. sicanshu says:

    Out of curiosity, was it a happy cry or a sad cry when Celine Dion won a lifetime achievement award? I should probably admit that I’m still bitter about her beating out Elliott Smith for an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1998. (Seriously, on what fucking planet is “My Heart Will Go On” a better song than “Miss Misery”?)

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      ffordesoon says:

      Academy voters don’t have to watch all the films they choose between. One assumes more of them saw Titanic and voted for it rather than the song. Also, the award is arguably about how well the song complemented the film, and given that the strains of “My Heart Will Go On” immediately bring Titanic to mind almost two decades later, that’s hard to argue. It isn’t a better song than “Miss Misery,” any more than Titanic is a better movie than the other nominees that year, or indeed a fair amount of the movies released that year. Boogie Nights and Jackie Brown weren’t even nominated for Best Picture that year, and I’d argue they’re better than all the movies that were. To paraphrase you, in what fucking world is The Full Monty better than Boogie Nights?

      Anyway, my point is that you probably think of “Miss Misery” as a great Elliott Smith song, not the song from Good Will Hunting. You can’t think of “My Heart Will Go On” without thinking of Titanic, especially if you lived through Titanic fever like I did. From that perspective, it’s not a surprise that it won.

      Also, the Academy leadership at the time was composed of wizened demi-liches with rice-paper skin who were scared of any song with guitars in it. Thank goodness today’s Academy leadership is composed of wizened demi-liches with rice-paper skin who are scared of any song made by those newfangled adding machines the kids like.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Because the average age of Academy judges is 60+.

    • Carra says:

      I read that Celine was very kind to Elliott so can’t really blame her.

  4. 1Derby says:

    I’m a cry-er too. There. I said it.

    • Ragnar says:

      No shame in that. I used to be stoic, then I got married and had kids, and now I cry at the drop of an emotion.

      We can all watch Up and Les Miserables and cry together.

      • Darloth says:

        That’s because the first 30 minutes of Up are soul-destroying, at least if you’re older than 5 or so.

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    X_kot says:

    Yeah, the trailers and hype have not motivated me to see it, and the reviews thus far are further reminding me that I could see other, more charming movies (such as Love & Friendship) instead.

    Pip, will you also be dispatched from Castle RPS to review Fassassin’s Creed?

  6. Rosti says:

    Lovely wordthinks, Pip.

    This has reminded me that the Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual had a write up of some/all of this early narrative. I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s structure and illustrations strongly influenced my approach to storytelling and sketching, even if it was the only Warcraft game I really invested myself into.

  7. DrZhark says:

    Can you put a spoiler alert tag before you go into details?

    • Tacroy says:

      Isn’t that rather like a Tolkien fansite putting a spoiler warning on a review of the Hobbit movie?

      I mean it’s Warcraft, we’ve known the story for ages.

      • liquidsoap89 says:

        Sure, if you’ve played the Warcraft games… Or didn’t immediately accept a quest in WoW without stopping to read what you were actually doing first (which nobody in the history of ever has done).

    • mouton says:

      Blizzard stories are extremely cliched and predictable anyway.

    • Ragnar says:

      What did she spoil? I guess she said that the half-orc woman isn’t half-orc. Everything else was very general.

  8. Geebs says:

    Oh god I hope a “bant” isn’t what I think it is.

    • Koozer says:

      What have you got against The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy?

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Maybe it brings up bad memories from a visit in Holland, since (according to Wikipedia) “Bant is one of the so-called green villages (Dutch: groendorpen) in the Dutch province of Flevoland”.

    • Ragnar says:

      Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    • Josh W says:

      It’s the force-carrying particle of the “generic rivalry” field, that can be used to mark the decay from “aloof” to a lower energy level like “begrudging friendship” or in some rare cases “tentative romance”.

  9. popej says:

    I can’t get past this perception of it all vein so childish. I do rate LOTR and this is basically more of the same. There’s just something about WoW that doesn’t thrill me aged 34.

    I realise that might be my failing.

    • popej says:

      Vein? Being*

    • mouton says:

      Blizzard writing has long been trite young adult fiction, which is only interesting if it is the first time you encounter those stories. That doesn’t mean it is bad by itself, it just seems to be targeted at a much younger populace.

    • Sound says:

      You could also consider the comic book movies like The Avengers’ and MCU movies as childish in it’s earnestness. But the difference between those and the WoW movie(apparently) is skilled writing. Where the Marvel movies are generally very well written and executed, this WoW movie apparently misses the mark.

      A good movie is typically made by driving the story primarily with solid characterization and character relationships. After all, anyone can identify with(or be interested by) a well conceived character and an interesting arc for them. In contrast, movies nearly always stumble when they’re driven by a series of ‘cool’ events. And that’s the flaw Pip seems to have precisely described.

  10. merbert says:

    “DrZhark says: Can you put a spoiler alert tag before you go into details?”

    WHY??!!

    For Christ’s sake, this is a W.I.T. of a movie. Anyone who knows this site knows that a W.I.T. is an opinion piece about a game or indeed movie.

    Surely to god, you’re not going to read an article about someone’s opinion of something and not expect “spoliers”.

    This is a first world, modern day, NONESENSE of a thing we’ve started to worry about for all those too precious to have the virginity taken on anything factual relating to zeitgeist movie, game or book.

    Get over yourselves.

    If you don’t want to risk finding out anything in relation to something you want to know nothing about, then DON’T surf the Web, DON’T watch T.V., DON’T listen to the radio and DON’T read any kind of paper publication that may inform you to the contrary of your preference.

    I’m sick of everyone pandering to this notion of having to flag all kinds of media articles with “SPOILER ALERT!!”.

    If you’re not mature enough to find out a spoiler or two in relation to subject matter you’ve an interest in, I’ve no sympathy for you.

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      X_kot says:

      Sounds like you want a safe space from spoiler alerts.

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      yhancik says:

      Ditto. There might be a tendency to forget that the events of a story are a mean but not an end itself. Although maybe some films/series also write their stories a series of facts with nothing behind or beyond them.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      This sort of thing should be common sense. It’s precisely why I don’t bother reading any Facebook posts about The Walking Dead because inevitably someone always starts bringing up events in the comics which I haven’t read. If you don’t want spoilers, you probably shouldn’t be reading reviews and commentary about said subject.

      • phlebas says:

        You shouldn’t read reviews of films you haven’t seen? What a curious viewpoint.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          I don’t know about you, but I have no difficulty finding out non-spoiler info about movies without reading reviews. Want to know if it’s good or not? Just look at the rating (or read the last paragraph i RPS’s case). Reviews are just another, non-crucial, piece of the puzzle when figuring out what a movie is like.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        You should just stop watching that alright show and read the excellent books instead.

    • Distec says:

      Lord, give it a rest.

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      lasikbear says:

      Buddy, u just wrote ~200 words on “spoiler alerts are bad”

    • phlebas says:

      “Anyone who knows this site knows that a W.I.T. is” what we call reviews around here. If I read a review of a movie I might consider watching, it would be nice to know upfront whether reading that review is likely to give me information about what happens in that movie that I would prefer not to know before seeing the movie.

      That said, I didn’t think this one gave too much away – having come to the article basically clueless about Warcraft lore, I’m still pretty much so. Just less keen to see the movie than I was, having enjoyed Duncan Jones’s previous films a lot.

      • Ragnar says:

        I agree. I expect WITs to be spoiler free, or to caution about them. But as someone clueless about Warcraft lore I didn’t see any spoilers aside from possibly the half-orc woman not being half-orc.

        I honestly don’t know if that’s a spoiler or not, but it hardly seems significant. Keyser Size’s identity it isn’t.

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    yhancik says:

    I was mostly looking forward the release of Warcraft : Subtitle so Duncan Jones could move on to a more interesting project. So: yay! :p

    • Lakshmi says:

      Mute is coming! And yes, same for me, though I’ve agreed to go see this next weekend. I’m not sure why…

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Judging by this review I still think he’s only made one good movie. Too be far, both Source Code and Warcraft were the studio telling him what to make, so hopefully now that he’s towed the line they’ll let him make things he wants to again.

  12. mpk says:

    I have a seven-year-old who is going to enjoy the hell out of this movie.

    I, as a thirty-eight-year-old, will hopefully be mildly entertained in all the right places, although given that my reaction to the trailer was a solid “Meh”, I’m expecting no more than that.

  13. kud13 says:

    I came into Warcraft with Warcraft II. I left after Frozen Throne. In the meantime, Blizzard secured my love for RTSs as my favourite genre in my teen years (when I was 19 I discovered Deus Ex)

    I really can’t say I care for this. Orcs and Humans feels too distant for me. If they ever do a movie about the Second War, with the multiple battles in Khaz Modan and Stromgarde, and the betrayal of Alterac, the (non-canon) seige of Dalaran, etc, I will probably go watch that-because that would be a nostalgia trip to see catapults levelling defences and Wizards casting Blizzard everywhere.

    But this… no. Sorry. Not gripping.

  14. SirSnake says:

    So Im guessing the film doesn’t really involve any moments where you realise you’ve built your base into a corner and can’t place anymore pavement and as a result have to destroy your own farm to expand?

    Or that, obviously, warbands went around in little groups of 4 as thats all you could select at once?

    That might be taking it a little far I suppose, and to be honest I suspect this is pandering far more to the WoW crowd than the RTS crowd of old.

    • Koozer says:

      I hope there’s a part where they all go back to the capital to hand in quests, talk to their class trainer and sell all their Kobold Spleens.

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      TehK says:

      If there isn’t a farmer in the movie going “work, work”, I’ll be sorely disappointed!

  15. kwyjibo says:

    Now review Angry Birds.

  16. C0llic says:

    To be expected really. I think Blizzard games are a success despite their bad writing and cliche ridden world building (cliches are fine, as are tropes, but self awareness, humour, or actual characters are a thing you need) not because of it.

    If there is ever going to be great movie based on a videogame, the chances of that being a Blizzard IP are pretty minuscule.

    • lglethal says:

      I dont know. I could see a movie based on the original Starcraft being good. It would probably need to be more then one movie (so that it wasnt all jumbled into one huge busy mess), and make the main focus the Kerrigan/Raynor dynamic. It’s got all the great things you need in movies – good guys, bad guys, deadly aliens, love, betrayals, rebirth as a half human deadly alien. What more could we want?

      Just make sure the screenplay is not so much as coughed on by anyone at Blizzard, and maybe it could be OK…

  17. causticnl says:

    they should have made a Arthas movie.

  18. FriendlyFire says:

    Well hey, a solidly average movie still means it’s better than 75% of the game movies out there. The track record isn’t exactly stellar so you don’t need much to come out ahead.

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    TehK says:

    I didn’t think the movie was a stinker, but I didn’t think it was interesting or memorable either. Without being steeped in the fandom/lore I didn’t find anyone to invest in or to root for.

    Somehow… that’s exactly what I expected, although in the grand scheme of “Game Movie” things, that might still count as a success :)

    Oh well, I’m going to watch it anyway – I’ve played too much Blizzard stuff to not watch it.

    Thanks for the lovely review, Pip!

  20. Monggerel says:

    When I was 14, I thought Arthas was a Cool Dude with a Rude ‘Tude.
    This is the grand sum of my connection to Warcraft, and I’ve no interest in seeing an overblown CG-fest that seems to promise nothing and may in fact deliver even less.

  21. Jane Doe says:

    Yeah … I think I’ll wait for it on Netflix. I’ve played all Warcraft games and I love the lore, but the movie trailers were so appalling that I don’t feel the slightest interest in it.

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    Ericusson says:

    There can be no doubt this will be a turd.

  23. The Petulant Platypus says:

    Was so pumped to see this movie!

    I ran into the cinema and completed the attunement quest to enter the cinema instance.

    I had multiple attempts at entering the cinema instance only to find myself ejected several times with various messages “This cinema instance is full”, “You have entered too many cinemas recently” etcetera

    Frustrated I went back to the counter loudly questioning the ability and sexual orientation of the nOObs who had clearly only recently entered into this World of Warcraft and lauded my own extensive experience without the need to provide any factual evidence or rational discussion. I then told them that the cinema was much better back when it was vanilla and then quit the cinema.

    I went to the coffee shop next door and then spent the next 6 hours perpetually dunking a teabag into the same cup of tea.

    Think I’ll wait for the DVD.

    • Ragnar says:

      I fear reading about your thrilling adventure will surpass anything to be found within the movie.

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    ffordesoon says:

    This movie was always a profoundly stupid idea. I’d hoped Jones could do something moderately interesting with it, but given how tight the reins must have been, I can’t blame him for delivering the reheated pizza bagel of a movie the five hundred people outside Blizzard’s walls who sincerely and deeply care about Warcraft lore have always wanted.

    That sounds mean, and it probably is, but seriously, this and the Angry Birds movie are two sides of the same coin. Not everything can or should be a transmedia property.

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    PoulWrist says:

    It sounds as banal as I expected. Will give it a miss.

  26. Ragnar says:

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one who thinks 3D blurs the action. My friends kept going on about how Avatar in 3D was so awesome they saw it thrice, while I was left thinking that it was the blurriest action movie I’d seen, and wondering if it looked better in good old 2D.

    Maybe it’s because I grew up playing FPS games, but my eyes have no trouble interpreting 3 dimensions from a 2D image.

  27. Sound says:

    “If there’s an emotion to be had in a thing I will find it. I meet emotional moments a lot further than halfway and I didn’t feel anything towards this movie.”
    Brilliant pair of sentences. When movie critics talk about a lack of attachment, of something like that, it’s generally conveyed in more abstract ways. But you’ve managed to do it in a very tangible sentence. Very nice.

    Seems the movie’s flaw is focusing on the world, the plot, and the action, and not enough by depth of character and character movement. Those kinds of stories nearly always fall flat.

    • PhilBowles says:

      As others have said, though, this is typical of Blizzard storytelling. That’s why, when you examine the Starcraft I storyline, it boils down to nothing more than a series of explanations for why faction X is at war with faction Y, because the plot was just a way to justify the assorted pairings the game allows (from 1v1 conflicts between each faction to alliances between each race, or two of the three, vs. any two or three of the others).

      If you actually think about it such celebrated moments as Mengsk abruptly turning into a villain with no prior setup don’t actually make any particular sense from the characters’ perspective, and we never are given any satisfactory motivation for him beyond ‘he’s a megalomaniac’ – it’s all just a question of having a character be good or evil to meet plot demands, exactly as Pip describes here for Warcraft.

  28. bill says:

    I think this movie works well as a warning to people like me who have always really wanted a proper Warhammer 40k movie that we should be careful what we wish for.

    • Josh W says:

      I’ve been thinking lately that a 20-30 minute per episode 40k miniseries would probably be better. Then you can combine all the exposition into “what happened last episode”, and mostly just focus on action and set pieces, (including “look at this awesome CG background while people posture and stuff” set-pieces). The pacing can be completely different if you’re not expecting people to sit through it all in one go, and you can skip a lot of the plod.

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    Jekadu says:

    Saw it a couple days ago.

    It was immensely daft, but I will say this: I had more fun watching it than the latest Captain America movie.

    Good stuff: Anything not to do with the Alliance.
    Bad stuff: Anything to do with the Alliance.

    I’m not saying this because I play Horde. I’m saying this because Warlords of Draenor was very clearly made for the sake of the movie. The Alliance is just a bunch of boring humans talking and looking extremely similar.

    The Mages got the best special effects in the movie, but Khadgar and Medivh’s actors were dead, wet blankets. It evened out, and I am now levelling a Frost Mage because they were so cool to watch.