Did the Warcraft movie live up to expectations? As an avid World of Warcraft player since 2004, and someone who’s been anticipating the Warcraft movie for years now, I have been so eager for this movie to finally come out. I was fortunately able to see it the day before release…
and now that it is in mass release, want to post my thoughts about the characters, storyline, landscapes and overall impressions of the movie.
AMAZING! The orc characters look incredible and the visual detail is stunning. The orcs look like they are living and breathing and like I could reach out and touch their skin and hair.
The actors who embodied the orcs did a fantastic job and brought surprising depth to the characters. The actors used their voices, bodies and subtle facial expressions to bring the character’s thoughts, motivations and emotions to life. I think that the actors rose to the challenge inherent in portraying creatures that are not real, and the result was impressive. Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), Durotan (Toby Kebbell), Orgrim (Rob Kazinsky) and Draka (Anna Galvin) in particular are quite memorable. The time they spent in learning HOW TO BE ORCS at “orc camp” paid off massively! The orcs stole the show for me!
Good, but not great. A bit shallow even. I think that the human actors, although fine actors, could have stretched themselves much further and challenged their abilities. Since they were playing humans rather than orcs, I think they were not pushed as far as the actors of the orcs were to bring the complexity of their characters to life.
- Although I love Travis Fimmel’s acting of Ragnar in the Vikings tv show, I thought that he very nearly brought the same role, Ragnar, into his Anduin Lothar role, which was pretty distracting actually. I think that he should have reached further for who Anduin Lothar really is, what drives him, and what his voice and mannerisms are, as a distinctly separate person than Ragnar. I also saw Travis throughout his acting and never quite became convinced that I was watching Anduin Lothar on screen. With Anduin Lothar’s reputation and important place in the Warcraft lore, I was curious to see what kind of person he would be in this movie and was disappointed to see a different character which I had already seen in another series.
- Lady Taria (Ruth Negga) I thought was a bit more successful in her acting of the Queen. I could sense there was more going on under the surface for her, however I did not quite see it revealed, which may be due to her character having a smaller role to play overall.
- King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper) I thought that he looked the part, and he was going in the right direction, however he really needed to bring more of the gravity of responsibility and how that weighs on a king, to the character. Also, an insight into his leadership during a time of such intense crisis would have been good (maybe a scene with just him and Talia would have done the trick for this).
- Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) I thought did a good job and brought some likeable youth and humor to the movie. A relatable and fun character, acted consistently (maybe a bit too consistent) with room for future character development. But still a bit on the light side for such a well known, powerful mage.
- Medivh (Ben Foster) I thought was the most memorable and deep human character. He brought the mysteriousness and inner conflict of Medivh to the forefront. For me, he was the most interesting human character to watch, and I would have liked to see even more of his Medivh and the internal and external conflicts he faces with his LITERALLY internal demon. What a fascinating character, and I think that this actor understood that and could have pushed the role even further and deeper.
It’s rare for me to think that a movie should be LONGER. However, Warcraft would have benefited from another 20 minutes to 40 minutes of footage. Additional time would have allowed for the movie to go slower and take more time with the storyline, character development, action and exploration of the environments.
A disappointment for me was that the loss of Anduin Lothar’s son and his weird love interest for Garona (Paula Patton) came across to me as forced and trite. His son barely was introduced, and there was no time for the interest in Garona to organically develop. Both storylines seemed thrown in to the movie without enough development. It was like “oh, we need to have a love story and a personal loss, so let’s throw that in so the viewers who don’t know Warcraft can relate,” and I think those parts were unnecessary. The time devoted to those two items would have been better spent with…
Warcraft would be incomplete without taking you in to the WORLD of WARCRAFT! The landscapes were detailed and E X P A N S I V E. Seeing places that I’ve truly spent years playing in, brought to life on the big screen, was an experience like no other. Seeing sprawling Stormwind, ominous Black Rock Mountain, massive Ironforge, floating Dalaran, forested Elwynn and magical Karazhan was SO COOL!
I would have loved even more time to be devoted to showing more of Stormwind and Dalaran cities, and the inside of Ironforge, but especially Stormwind and Dalaran which are so close to heart for players whether on the Horde or Alliance side. I also would have preferred slower pans across the landscapes, as the movement got to be too fast for me to be able to see all the details and it got harder to physically visually track what was on screen during the pans.
Overall, I enjoyed the Warcraft movie, I will re-watch and get all the behind the scenes things possible to watch. However, I think there are areas of improvement. I wanted to LOVE the movie so much, and parts of it I absolutely did. I am impressed with the scope, dedication and the fan service that have gone into Warcraft and wanted even MORE time, depth and character development in the movie. Oh, and one final COOL thing is that I was part of the Blizzcon 2014 audience that was recorded shouting for crowd shouts that actually went into the movie 🙂