I should probably start this review with my familiarity with the franchise going into this movie. I’ve never played the original Warcraft but did play a free trial of World of Warcraft several years ago which I enjoyed but didn’t feel the need to continue after the trial ended. Through playing that trial and being exposed to the franchise a lot through online media I have a basic idea of how the world (of Warcraft) works. I’m also aware this movie wasn’t very successful but friends of mine who are fans of the games enjoyed it so while looking for movies from this year to catch up on I was curious how I’d feel about this one.
And of course my opinion falls somewhere in the middle. I think this movie was alright but I can tell this is a movie more for fans and from what I could tell the movie does a very good job at that. I’m not the target audience but I can still appreciate the effort that went into making this film appeal to that audience and even enjoy it myself.
As I expected the most interesting characters were the main Orcs. Some of the best scenes were those where two or three Orcs are interacting. In fact I’d argue this film’s biggest weakness is that these characters don’t get enough focus compared to the main humans.
That’s not to say the human characters were boring though. I was expecting them to be and as far as the kingdom itself goes if you’ve seen one fantasy human kingdom you’ve seen them all but the main characters that protect it are alright even if most aren’t very interesting. It helps that one of the main humans is magic user Khadgar preventing them from just being a bunch of regular humans.
The human side also has the benefit of spending a fair amount of time with half-Orc Garona who represents both sides of the conflict. She and Khadgar are the most interesting characters in the human army and I do wish they’d gotten more attention than the generic knight main human but they’re not underused like the main Orc Durotan.
So while I didn’t enjoy this as much as some of my friends did I still think it’s a decent film that doesn’t deserve the hate it gets. It has problems sure but honestly they’re problems that are common in fantasy media.