I wasn’t going to see it; I don’t even play World of Warcraft which probably means I’m not the intended audience, but it was a nice day and I fancied being stuck inside a large dark room, so ignoring all past experiences of games made into movies, I popped down to the local picture house to see if it was as bad as I was expecting it to be.
And do you know what, I was pleasantly surprised.
First of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way; we’re not looking at something original here. Warcraft is shallow version of Lord the Rings condensed down into two-and-a-bit hours. The heroes are beared and manly; the heroines are stunning and the bad guys are as ugly as hell, so we all know where we stand. Blizzard Studios, the folk behind World of Warcraft, footed the production bill by the looks of it, so it’s not surprising that you often felt as though you were playing a third-person video game: there were lots of sweeping shots of over some gorgeous scenery (I wasn’t sure if it was real or drawn on a computer somewhere) that tried to capture the feel of Lord of the Rings, but somehow didn’t quite pull it off. We had humans, orcs, guest appearances by dwarves and elves… yes it was all very familiar. But getting away from the most obvious comparison, we also had a magical arcane energy that could be used for good and evil; long long ago in a galaxy far far way, arcane magic might have been called something else.
But what about the plot? It was fine, actually. I followed it and it all hung together very well. It was somewhat unexpected in that you had good and evil on both sides, which made the film a lot more interesting. The special effects were top-notch, and they had to be: most of the cast was animated. Yes, very well done.
The dialogue was a struggle for me though; I felt it was all a bit too American, but I guess that can be helped. There’s simply not enough actors from the North of England to fill every role in Hollywood. I could live with that, but I thought the script writers could have made a little more effort in making the cast sound as though they were from a medieval magikal world, and not from the modern-day east coast of the United States.
If you’re a WoW player then you’re going to see this movie no matter what I say, so enjoy! If you’re not, but you like sorcery, fantasy and epic battle scenes then see Warcraft anyway. I’m glad I did.
Seven out of ten.