Rated: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence. Reviewed by: Matt Release date: June 10, 2016 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
Based off of the popular video game franchise of the same name, Warcraft seeks to to bring the fabled franchise to the big screen for the first time. There was much anticipation and expectations for this movie going in.
Warcraft is the telling of two stories. From one side an Orc chieftain Durotan (Toby Kazinsky) is trying to lead his people to safety as his world is dying. He allies himself with the Orc warlock Gul'dan (Daniel Wu) in a mission to invade the world of Azeroth (where our second story takes place) and make a new home for themselves. The other side is that of the humans of the Kingdom of Stormwind, led by Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), their king Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper), the guardian of Tirisfal, Medivh, as they attempt to fight off the invasion all while trying to figure out who their new enemy is.
If that all sounds a bit confusing then I'm sure you aren't the only one. Warcraft starts out the movie by introducing us to all the major characters in the story and it is done so quickly that only those who are familiar with the franchise will be able to keep up. And that is my major complaint with the movie as a whole, it isn't very friendly to those who aren't familiar with Warcraft as a whole. Once all the introductions are out of the way the film continues on cutting from one side of the fight to the other while mostly focusing on Sir Anduin Lothar and Durotan. The movie however doesn't spend much time explaining things leaving that job to the audience.
That being said, this movie is gorgeous. The cg in the movie to depict the landscapes and orcs themselves are some of the greatest I have ever seen. This led to very believable characters and the interactions between them and the live action humans were also convincing. The action in the film should also be praised. Director Duncan Jones pulled no punches when it came to the ferocity in the battles. Every single battle felt like a fight for survival and each felt very satisfying to watch. Also, the movie does a great job cramming in tons of easter eggs and references to the universe it is based off of, from specific characters to even regions from the games themselves. Fans of the series will enjoy finding all of the different places and people that appear in the film.
So in the end in spite of some glaring pacing issues, Warcraft is indeed a fun film to see. However, this film will probably be much more enjoyable to those who already are familiar with this franchise than those who are not. But that shouldn't dissuade the latter from not seeing it. Warcraft may be a film made for the fans but it is certainly action packed enough for the casual movie goer to enjoy.