I didn’t think I’d ever talk about Warcraft again after my ‘At What Point Should World of Warcraft Stopped Expanding’ article. But then they announced Burning Crusade Classic and I got dragged right back in. So… here we are.
Even if they’ve recently been improving, the reputation surrounding video game movies is still a disastrous one. We all know why. The damn things are very consistently disasters. To have one that is even half-decent is rare.
Then the Warcraft movie happened. People actually seemed to think this one would be good. At least, people in my circle back in high school thought it would be. After all, it’s Blizzard! They never did anything wrong, right?
This movie is a loose adaptation of the original Warcraft game. You know the drill. The orcs came through the portal to the world of Azeroth, demons followed after them, war ensued. Eventually, the orcs and the humans come together to fight off the possessed orcs and demons, blah blah blah, generic fantasy war story. Everything you know and love from Warcraft.
The story itself isn’t a bad one. Warcraft is a very generic fantasy world, yes, but it’s a charming and fun one. Why else would World of Warcraft have gotten as successful as it did?
Unfortunately, in terms of execution, this movie fails completely. It isn’t compelling. Nor is it so bad that it’s funny. No, this is the worst kind of movie: a boring one.
It’s primarily dragged down by the dialogue. There are two categories of dialogue in this movie. The first and most frequent is dull and clunky exposition. This includes characters overly explaining things to each other that they should already know, such as their relationship to each other or how magic works. This works neither for the die-hard Warcraft fan or the casual newcomer. The former already knows the information being spouted and the ladder just gets bored.
The second is terrible non-sensible shit that is supposed to sound dramatic. To be fair: that’s all over the Warcraft games as well. But at least there, it was charming and fun. Here? It just makes my eyes roll into my skull.
This dialogue, both forms of it, make the characters suffer extensively. They feel more robotic and lifeless than they did in the games from whence they came. None of them have any real personality or exceptionally deep backstories or motivations. You could replace them with a Wikipedia article and it would be both more informative and more interesting.
Now, to be fair: the visuals in this movie are actually pretty good. The human characters look… well, they look like shit. Their costumes look so stupid that it’s hilarious. But everything else is amazing! The orcs look great and the environments are all practically ripped straight out of the games! The attention to detail is absolutely incredible!
But fanservice does not a good movie make. Otherwise, the bar would be much much lower. You can cram in as much Warcraft shit into this as you want. Because here’s a fun little fact for you: Warcraft doesn’t lend itself well to cinema.
Yet everyone thought it would. Because Blizzard can do absolutely no wrong. Right?
Man, I wish I could see their faces now.