Well, it’s finally here. The mighty embrace of the horde has finally marched onto our theater screens and it’s… ok. Honestly, it’s just ok. It’s not anything to write home about, it’s iust a good movie. It has some significant problems but it still manages to be an enjoyable romp that you’ll most likely forget about after you’ve left the theater.
As I sat in the theater and the movie started up, I can’t deny that I wasn’t excited. Seeing the title WARCRAFT in big bold letters got me all giddy inside. Now, I don’t necessarily have the most fond memories of Warcraft or World of Warcraft. I liked Warcraft 3 a bit, sunk maybe 8 or so hours into it. The World of Warcraft was a different experience for me. I never really enjoyed playing it. The world fascinated me but the actual mechanics just didn’t grab me. It was a little too sluggish, unintuitive, and unenjoyable. At the end of the day it just felt like a chore to play. Yet, I struggled through it. Pouring $15 into the game every month plus the additional payment of every expansion for over five years. My wallet cried in pain, struggled to get away for years but it could never quite make it out. It was like having a heroin addiction; I know what I’m doing is wrong, bad for me, and bad for everyone around me but I must continue for the alliance! After five years of hating myself I finally cut loose from the game. I had been paying for five years yet I really quit after four and would just jump in every couple of months to see what’s going on, to only realize that nothing was going on.
What kept me coming back during “the dark times” was the games beautiful aesthetic. It wasn’t the most visually appealing game, not even the most visually appealing MMO, but God damnit did it have a style. The armor looked fantastical in a the most high fantasy sort of way. I was engrossed in the story, the war between Orcs and Humans, the Alliance and the Horde. It was neat. Having some friends who were Horde and talking trash with each other was (childish) fun. So sitting in the theater with the very friends that I used to play WoW with was kind of an awesome experience. The gushing ends here.
This movie is about as average as average gets. This film easily has some of the fastest storytelling techniques ever seen on film. Everything is moving at a mile a minute, so fast that you barely every able have time to digest what is happening. The experience can be summed up as so:
“Wait. Who’s he talking to?
“Where the hell are they?
“Good ques- Oh we’re with the Orcs now.”
The first thirty minutes of this movie move so quickly. You barely have time to register that the Orc home world is dying before we’re thrust into the Human storyline, and before you get the chance to get comfortable with the characters you’re thrown back into the other storyline. The Horde plot was a really fascinating little story, I enjoyed it a lot and actually would’ve hoped to see more of it. Durotan was one of the more interesting characters in the film and I actually grew to care about him a lot. His character has a lot of heart and humanity (which is something that I believe is really important for any Alien or Monster flick). Durotan was a complex character with a hard moral code and strong family values. He was honorable and good, fighting the good fight. The best way to describe his character is Orc Atticus Finch which was really well done. The other characters throughout the film were either average or straight up bad. The casting for Medivh really bothered me, for no other reason than I just thought that Ben Foster was bad. He did not do a good job. Lothar and King Wrynn were very good and really dished out some good performances. The characters in themselves are interesting minus two subplots involving Lothar that were god awful.
The first was Lothar’s relationship with his son, Callan. In what may be one of the most half baked excuses for a revenge plot ever, the father/son relationship between these two is abysmal and left me paralyzed with cringe whenever these two appeared on screen together. Callan is one of the shittiest fighters ever. We only see him four times throughout the film and it is some funny stuff. There’s a common trend that I picked up on throughout his scenes: *SPOILERS*
- Being an idiot with his Dad and whining about how he wants to fight.
- Fighting in the forest and getting his ass fucking stomped by an Orc before his Dad comes and saves him.
- In a medical tent after him and his whole garrison got fucking stomped and swept by another group of Orcs
- Getting fucking stomped, wrecked, swept, and finally straight up killed by an Orc that is little more than a rejected Wolverine understudy.
These moments create “anger” within Lothar as he now swears to fuck up the specific Orc that killed his son. It’s such a terrible plot that could’ve easily been rewritten to something a bit more fitting.
The second shitty Lothar relationship is the nigh on spontaneous love story I’ve ever seen. There was no set up, nothing leading up to the audience even thinking that this would happen… but no. Out of nowhere Garona finds love with Lothar. If you want to have a love relationship in your movie than go ahead, just please do it right. To shoehorn it in just for the sake of it. It’s half assed just like the Callan plot. Please remember: don’t half ass two things, whole ass one thing.
What I can praise about this film are the excellent action scenes. While at times the choreography was stilted and you could pretty much tell that these people were just advanced LARPing they still did a good job of making the battles and fights seem weighty. The Orcs are lumbering hulks while the Humans look noticeably weaker. Each battle is really well done and cool. The battle of Blackrock Pass was outstanding, as well as the final confrontation. The magic looked unbelievable, in a good way. I really loved the magic aspect of the film. It seemed like it was ripped straight from WoW which is most definitely not a bad thing.
The ending of this film is, what I’d like to call, sequeled to high hell. Almost none of the big plot lines established at the beginning of the film are resolved. There isn’t a satisfying conclusion to the story, it just ends on a flat note.
I feel like this movie had a lot of potential, and while it wasn’t horrible it wasn’t exactly the best either. It was a good movie with a lot of fan service. It struggled to get its footing at the beginning and pretty much bolted through a lot of scenes that should’ve been focused on more but it still did a good enough job of introducing us to the World of Warcraft.