Today is my birthday.
Last Friday I got an early birthday present: a ticket to see the Warcraft movie. And I have a blog. So now I get to write a review, which may be a first for me. But never fear. This will be short and sweet because there’s a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate buttercream icing waiting for me.
Two hours was too short. As many others have pointed out, the movie feels rushed. Watching “Warcraft” felt like running the Sunken Temple dungeon for the first time with someone who’d done it dozens of times. They run in, tell you to do this, go here, kill that, and they’re finished while you’re still running around in circles, trying to figure out how to get down to the next level of the temple. It’s more than a bit bewildering.
As a writer, I would have preferred a bit more background info. How did Gul’dan end up in charge of the Horde if he was so evil? How did Medivh get to the orcs’ planet? Why was Llane Wrynn in Goldshire? Non-WoW players probably wouldn’t catch that, but veterans like me know Goldshire’s reputation as a red-light district occasionally haunted by a bizarre group of children. Why in the name of the Twisting Nether would the king of Stormwind be discussing military plans in Goldshire?
Some scenes felt unnecessary and might have been replaced instead with things that helped explain the plot better. Like the “he wants to lay with you” scene between Khadgar, Lothar, and Garona. Or the frustratingly brief bit in Ironforge where Lothar receives a message about the burnt village. While it’s nice for nostalgia’s sake to see Ironforge, those few moments might have been better spent someplace else. People who have never played World of Warcraft need a clear explanations of who these characters are and what they’re doing, but veteran players like myself also need clear explanations to minimize our confusion. We veterans just got back from saving an alternate universe as it is, so the lore has been turned on its head already. It’s easy to forget where we are.
I like to think they could have stuck more closely to the original story if they’d tried a bit harder. I did like the changes with Garona’s heritage, though. Originally she was a product of rape, and rape is so overdone that the story works better without it. And if Medivh turns out to be her father rather than her lover, that’s fine, too. Their son in game never played much part in the lore, anyway.
Should you go see it? Maybe. it’s a good story, even if it is the Cliff’s Notes version. I would like to see it again. Just be aware if you go to see it: it’s not your mama’s Warcraft. If you don’t know the story, then sit back and pay attention so you can keep up with a tale told too fast. If you do know the story, forget everything you ever learned and let Blizzard tell you a new version of an old story. If you can do that, you’ll probably enjoy it.
I give it a 50 DKP minus for shoving us through the dungeon too fast for us to loot everything.
And now, on to my cookie. Happy birthday to me.