So I knew the reviews were bad going in to this movie. I recalibrated my expectations to see a bad movie that could be potentially fun for World of Warcraft (WoW) players. I’m not an active player, but I was at one time. My wife has a current account with several max-level characters. Both of us went expecting a fun experience.
I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. I also don’t think it’s as bad as the critics assert it to be. Don’t get me wrong; taken on its own, it’s a mediocre movie at best from a story-crafting perspective. However, it’s certainly no Battlefield Earth!
On it’s own, it’s a somewhat passable fantasy movie, better than the The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, and better than parts of The Desolation of Smaug. Worse than the first Hobbit movie.
I compared it to the other horrible movie of the season: Batman v Superman. Warcraft was better, because it didn’t murder and rape its own characters in the same way that BvS did to Superman. It was true to its source content.
Hell, I just saw Jurassic World for the first time last night. I think Warcraft was as good (although less accessible). The thing that annoyed me in Jurassic World were characters acting stupid for the sake of plot. There were only one or two instances of that in Warcraft. For the most part, the characters held together. (Hell, Jurassic World was relatively well received. If that were the case, then I think the majority of Movie Critics must have decided to hate the movie before seeing it, and falsely deflated a mediocre movie to horrible ratings.)
But it was dense, and for a non Warcraft fan, or for someone not already predisposed to the genre and Blizzard content, then it probably seemed a dense mashing of scenes that didn’t earn the audiences “care about”. I think the greatest sin is that you need to be a fan of the Warcraft content, or at least Blizzard games in general, to enjoy what was on the screen in front of you.
However, for those who already like Warcraft, it delivered. A testament to the directing and production, it was able to render the WoW world and feel like WoW, without hitting the cheesiness buttons too much. WoW costuming can be absurd, but they pulled it off in a live action setting.
The stars of the show were the orcs. I’m amazed the pulled them off in a convincingly cool way. And they feel amazing powerful with a savage nobility, the way Warcraft orcs should feel.
So, I’ll rate this on two scales, like I did Force Awakens. I give the movie an overall 4/10 for non-Blizzard fans, a 6/10 for non-Warcraft Blizzard fans, and a 7/10 for World of Warcraft fans.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no illusions that this was a great, or even a good movie. But it was a fun movie, and a beautiful movie, with respectable acting, art and direction that honors the source content, and it was successful in that it makes me hope they do a sequel.
And I think I’ll go log in to WoW and get reacquainted with old friends.