June 18, 2016


REVIEW: Warcraft

A good start to what I hope will have a sequel, but could have used more time to flesh out the characters and more of the world building. At times it felt like some scenes may have been shortened in order to fit it into a shorter time frame.

In “Warcraft”, the Orc world is dying; so they need a new place to call home. And how are they going to do that? The Orc wizard, Gul’dan, opens a portal to their salvation, but this new land is occupied by humans. That’s not a problem for the Orcs—an aggressive race, who are no strangers to war.

This leads to a clash between the Orcs and humans with a single Orc, Durotan, who doesn’t see violence as the answer. And this is where the heart of the story lies.
Durotan’s wife just bore a child and he doubts whether the Orc community is doing the right thing.

From the human side, Anduin, played by “Vikings” Travis Fimmel, finds himself in the middle of this war, having interactions with just about everyone.

World building:

“Warcraft” has a huge task of setting up the world, the mythology and the characters that inhabit it. And for the most part, it does a very good job of juggling everything. The film shifts between Orcs and humans, further dividing itself into subplots, such as:

  • Gul’dan and his plan to forcefully colonize human land
  • Durotan’s moral dilemma and dealings with his clan

  • Anduin relationship with Garona with these two having their own background.
  • The guardian and the young guardian to be
  • And to some degree, the King

These subplots cross paths and converge at points to create layers that form the totality of this world and their conflicting perspectives. Even though I knew nothing of "Warcraft" prior to sitting down in the theater to watch this movie, I was able to follow what was going on and never felt lost. That’s because the jumps between scenes and perspectives felt like natural progressions. For example, once the Orcs invaded, it made sense to then jump to the human perspective.

However, Some of the scenes moved a bit quickly and I would have preferred to linger on them a bit to appreciate some of the relationships that ultimately felt glossed over.

I wasn’t familiar with any of the magic until viewing it on screen. But I never felt like I needed a prior history lesson to understand enough.


The film could have used more time to give some characters room to explore. Durotan benefited with the most fleshing out and, as a result, was the most relate-able.

They did a nice job with Paula Patton’s Garona. Her screen time was never wasted. All her scenes worked to   develop her character as one who really didn’t fit into either world but ended up finding a place (sort of).

Regarding Anduin, being a fan of “Vikings” I was very interested in his transition to the big screen. And I think Fimmel did a very good job. If you’re looking for him to be Aragorn of “Lord of The Rings” you will be disappointed. Fimmel’s characters didn’t have that gravitas. He was a more playful character, somewhat like his “Vikings” character. And I think it worked well.

He had good chemistry with Garona and I was invested in this relationship. The one issue I had with Anduin was I felt he was so busy being everywhere that he felt like walking cliff notes. Like his purpose was to touch everyone’s lives and be the one to connect all the stories that he didn’t get proper time for his own personal development. So even though I know his story, I wasn’t emotionally invested (except with his relationship with Garona).

Gul’dan felt like a one-dimensional villain. He was mainly just there to be the bad guy.

The guardian played by Ben Foster was too young for my liking. I would have preferred a older, more seasoned looking wizard, especially since there was the up and coming guardian (Khadgar) nipping on his heals. Speaking of which, I thought Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar was miscast. He didn’t fit into this world at all and really stuck out. Too bad because he was a major character.

I’m a fan of Dominic Cooper and love him in “Preacher” but he also felt out of place as the King. Not every one could play in a period piece or fantasy world. Plus, the storyline and relationship between the king, Queen and Anduin was anemic.

Special effects:

The world looked beautiful, though I think with a bigger budget they could give it a better coloring so that it has more of a “Lord of The Rings” look. The magic was well done. And I particularly liked how Gul’dan absorbed energy, although it was creepy.

I thought the animals looked cool, especially the bird that Anduin used to travel on. The wolf was nice too. I could tell that the Orcs were CGI’d but it never took me out of the movie. It didn’t take long to get used to them.


There were quite a bit of action sequences. Even the animals were utilized. The camera work jumped around at times. I prefer it to be a bit more steady instead of the shifting about and closeups.

All in all, I thought it was an enjoyable movie. It had a rich story that could use more time to tell and hopefully we get a sequel that will delve into things a bit more now that we have the world building out of the way. It ended in a couple of cliffhangers that has me curious to know what is going to happen next.

 Score: 7.5/10 


About Lisa

Passionate about movies and writing. Hopes to someday be a published writer. So when she's not staring at the tube, she's spilling her imagination onto a blank page.

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