Let’s start out with my stating that I have never played Warcraft or World’s of Warcraft. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this movie more had I been a player. However, I should not have to know anything to enjoy the film.
The Orcs, led by the evil, Fell-ridden leader Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), needed to find a new world as their world was dying. The world was dying from the power called “The Fell”, which was also consuming Gul’dan. They opened a portal to another world, a world of humans. The conflict immediately struck up between the humans and Orcs. Orc tribal chieftain Durotan (Toby Kebbel), whose wife is pregnant, worries about Gul’dan.
Meanwhile, the humans are led by King Llane (Dominic Cooper) and his friend and top right hand man Lothar (Travis Fimmel). There is also a character named The Guardian (Ben Foster), who is a wizard. They are preparing to fight against this new threat that is destroying cities in the land to grab people. See, in order to open the portal, Gul’dan needs to use their life force. So they need people.
In an initial conflict, Garona (Paula Patton), a half-Orc, half-human, is captured and joins with the humans to attempt to stop the Orcs from reopening the portal and bring the rest of the Orcs to this land.
Now, this plot becomes very convoluted. There are way too many storylines happening in the movie. Everything is crammed into the film. Way too much.
The imagery in this movie was great. The Orcs looked fantastic, even though I had a lot of trouble because, when Durotan was on screen, all I could think of was The Hulk and Garona made me think of She-Hulk. Still the stop-motion capture work was great.
That was about where I stopped with this movie.
The beginning of Warcraft was dull. I was bored. I was also pretty confused about what was happening much of the time. The film does not take much time explaining things, which is not the worst thing in the world. I do not want an overabundance of exposition in a film, but a little more in a film that has such a deep mythology to it would have been appreciated. The middle of the film did pick up a little bit and I saw some promise. However, then the ending came along and it was so stupid that it ruined what little promise that I had seen.
What am I talking about? Well…SPOILERS…. at the end, King Llane tells Garona that she had to kill him so that she can bring peace between the humans and Orcs. Huh? How was that going to work? I can see how it made Garona respected by the Orcs, but how was that supposed to make it okay with the humans? It made absolutely no sense and really took me out of the movie. END OF SPOILERS
The relationship between Garona and Lothar was shoehorned into this movie and it did not feel organic at all. The film wants to make this relationship a vital component, which would work with the ending, but it just did not work.
In fact, none of these characters are developed at all. Durotan was the most developed character in the film, but most of the rest of the characters were so one note. Because these characters were not involving, I did not care much about the action because I did not feel any concern for what could happen to the characters.
I’m not even going to go into the whole “Baby Orc Moses” story, except to say that anyone finding that floating green, fanged baby is going to drown that little monster or stone it to death. I’m guessing that is not what is going to happen, although I can see that scene in the “How Warcraft Should Have Ended” video that will invariably be appearing on YouTube.
It very well be that a sequel to this film will be considerably better since much of this film was used to set up the world, something that would have helped this movie. It looked great and it had some decent action, but the characters were one dimensional,the story was overly convoluted, and the ending took any promise out of it for me. Warcraft did not become that great video game movie that some people had hoped it would be.

2.3 stars

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