Warcraft - Quickie Review


What's good

- High production values and very impressive motion capture effects work
- Well choreographed and depicted battle scenes
- Satisfying fan service and hints for fans...

Even by today's standards, the motion capture work is stunning.

What's bad

- ...but a bad introduction for non-fans into the world and high possibility of confusion
- No clear relatable protagonist to root for
- Convoluted plot points and unfocussed pacing without a clear thread...

-...and when it's not convoluted, it's just a very predictable by-the-numbers fantasy story
- Underwhelming sequel-bait climax

A film made by fans for fans and hardly anybody else.


- All the locations and characters that are mentioned one time and never spoken of again, being nice fan services to fans, yet nothing but more confusion fuel for everyone else.

Who's this? What's happening? What are they talking about?

The Verdict

Overall, there is no denying that the sheer sight of the original Warcraft game coming to life on the big screen is very impressive to say the least. With stunning motion capture work on the orcs, great battle scenes and the production values being set very high, Warcraft is obviously a big budget production with lots of time and effort put into it.
Yet despite all that, Warcraft sadly struggles to elevate its substance matter into anything above the level of a pure fan film. With that said, Warcraft is without any doubt a film made by fans primarily for hardcore fans of the franchise, who are already familiar with all the characters, locations and lore taking place on screen. For anybody else new to the franchise however, Warcraft will turn out to be very hard to get into and will feel ultimately quite boring. Featuring a very clumsy introduction to its big array of characters and happenings, it's ultimately a story that will confuse and bore anyone not already familiar with it. It's a movie whose biggest problem is its approach to non-fans of the franchise, which gets to a point where the movie often just feels like it straight up just isn't even interested in introducing non-fans to its world.

But even taking the fan or non-fans audience aside, Warcraft's story turns out to be quite a convoluted mess where at many moments it feels like chunks of the movie are just flatout missing. This leads to the movie having a very clumsy, weird and uncomfortable pacing without a clear thread to focus on. Speaking of missing threads, Warcraft also seems to have big problems (until the final act) to directly make clear to its audience who exactly the main protagonist of the movie is. Taking place on so many locations and jumping from one scene full of various characters to the next, it's ultimately just more confusion fuel for anybody not familiar with the lore and story already. 

Admittedly speaking, the sheer existence of a Warcraft movie having been made by a huge major studio alone is very impressive, yet when all the amazing visuals and imagery is stripped away, the Warcraft movie adaptation itself lacks any true substance and a needed well put together structure to make for a well rounded movie experience that fans as well as non-fans could enjoy equally as much. Considering that a 40-minutes-longer Director's Cut has already been announced for home video, here's hoping that that version will be able to fill up some of the movie's obviously missing parts. But even then, Warcraft is hard to really recommend since even without its convoluted narrative problems, what's left behind is a very underwhelming and forgettable fantasy movie experience that is only there to set up another sequel.
Warcraft fans will undoubtedly enjoy the movie anyway due to its big amount of fan service, while anyone else is better off just skipping this high budget fan film.

Final Verdict: 3 out of 10

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