It was an older time. A simpler time. A time that is entirely fictional and in actuality just the cashcow of Blizzard. The movie Warcraft covers the plot of the first game of their extensive series of medieval, magical escapades. World of Warcraft’s live action movie spectacular Warcraft generated $145 million in 3 days’ time, proving that it is, in fact, made by Blizzard.
Now it’s time to actually watch this movie. Going into it, I was honestly dreading it, as “fictional medieval nerd war” is as appealing as you can imagine. It’s a war movie that covers the events of Warcraft 1, 2, 3, and World of Warcraft’s original human campaign. It’s less of a nerd war and more of just orcs vs humans.
The movie opens up stating that Europeans and Native Americans — I mean humans and orcs have been fighting for ages. We then see a muscular Shrek with his pregnant wife fooling around. We then meet our first non-CGI character, a hot green woman being carried in chains by Guldan, the Warlock from Hearthstone. He then literally commits genocide of the aliens from Avatar and sends an army of orcs to fight in the portal. Gee mister, that’s a lot of death!
But with death comes life, and the idiot who went to fight in a war while pregnant gives birth during trans-dimensional travel. The baby dies, but Guldan sucks the life out of a deer and gives the baby life.
We then cut to a dwarf who references Army of Darkness’s boomstick. The main character, Lothar, surprises his mage friend, Khadgar, before traveling to talk about how a troop was knocked out. Duritan states that the army shouldn’t kill the women and children like a nice guy who just had a son. Lothar scales a tower and meets with Medivh, who attacks Khadgar before explaining what fell magic is, magic that steals life. They teleport to the king and he is happy to see Medivh, and Khadgar once again leaves a bad impression with his investigating.
They investigate where the troops were murdered and they are ambushed by orcs. The orcs are winning at first with brute strength, but are eventually outsmarted. Medivh uses fell magic to drain and kill them. The non-CGI orc, Gorronah is captured and informs the king and the others that she and the orcs are not of this world. As Duritan challenges Guldan, Gorronah is treated kindly by her wardens, stating that there might be a life for her here. Duritan realizes the next morning that if their world is dead and Guldan’s tradition and conquered lands revolve around death, Guldan needs to be stopped if anybody wishes to live.
Garronah travels with Lothar and Khadgar, where they share their tragic pasts together. Duritan finds Gorronah and shares his plan with her, hoping to make some way to kill Guldan. After a montage of battles, a meeting of government representatives has ended in disarray. Lothar meets with his injured son, which makes his odd flirting with young Garronah all the more awkward from here on out considering the age gap. Of course, the next scene involves flirting between the two.
Medivh meets with Khadgar to essentially bully him again, burning all of his research and telling him to stay away from his territory and to focus on protecting the king instead. However, Medivh did not burn all of his research. He meets with Lothar, who appears to take the information lightly, but seriously considers what the strange, animated note could mean.
Duritan meets with the king’s army. Garronah translates and they agree to have an alliance before they are ambushed by Guldan’s loyal followers. The battlefield begins to storm and Medivh seems to be the cause. Once again, Medivh saves the day by obliterating orc reinforcements with lightning. Unfortunately, this separates Lothar from his son, who will most likely die in defense of the rest of the army. Lothar attempts to break through, but instead sees to get to see his son murdered firsthand by the captain of the orc troop. Medivh is brought back from near death, the green glow in his eyes revealing his exposure to fell magic. Medivh begins pushing the strange romance between Lothar and Garronah, but also comments on the fact that she needs to make an effort in order to find love and to bond with others in general. Duritan seems to be in a crappy situation, considering how the whole clan knows of his treachery. The orcs begin fighting one another, and Ogrim lets Duritan’s wife go during the battle and also gets Guldan on his side.
Khadgar meets with the image he saw in Medivh’s library, who gives him a speech about how he should have a belief in his fellow man, and that the true guardians of the world are all of the people in it. Medivh is revealed to have been using fell magic and he can no longer control it. He then suddenly kills his friend.
Medivh lies to the king, and in grief Lothar argues with him. Medivh gets personal and Lothar loses his composure, putting him in a cell and Medivh free reign to do as he pleases. Ogrim frees Duritan and they begin working together. Khadgar frees Lothar and they teleport to who knows where when Duritan’s wife saves her baby Moses style before dying in combat soon after. Let’s hope there’s no waterfall at the end of the river.
Ogrim and Duritan meet with the orc who killed Lothar’s son and Ogrim. As Guldan cheats and steals Duritan’s lifeforce, Ogrim speaks to his people, hoping to follow Duritan’s example, but these followers are immediately killed.
The ensuing battle between the king’s army and Guldan’s is fought side-by-side with Lothar and Khadgar versus Medivh, both of which are going swimmingly for Guldan’s side. After blinding the golem through the use of Medivh’s fireball. Lothar speaks to Medivh long enough to distract him, but by then both Medivh and Khadgar are taken over by fell. Khadgar does a spell after demon-Medihv is crushed that dispels the fell, and Medivh begins helping once more until he dies.
The remaining people who could not escape via portal are murdered, two of which are the king and Garronah. The king tells her to kill him in order to save her life. She does so, and is accepted by the orcs once more. Lothar comes in on a griffin and kills a few orcs before having a one-on-one fight with his kid’s murderer. He slides down using his king’s sword and wins the fight balls first. He is still surrounded by orcs, but he won with their tradition. Guldan’s abuse of the orc tradition finally works against him, as his army has been proven that Guldan’s side is the weaker through this fight.
As the plot concludes, Lothar find’s Garronah’s dagger on the kings body, framing her as betraying humans with no explanation as to why. Lothar is considered a noble hero and the orcs find peace although they are stuck in this new dimension.
In the end, the movie is one big special effects showcasing with some dialogue and plot in between. Unless you are knee-deep in knowledge of the lore, you will not find too much enjoyment of the plot. This isn’t Game of Thrones level stuff, it’s a very basic plot with excellent presentation. If you have somebody who can explain the underlying lore I would look into it before watching, as otherwise you will be quite confused at least 10 times throughout the film. The writing is few and far between, but there are a few funny quips, powerful speeches, and a few seconds of humor contained through physical and audio-based comedy. The plot takes itself very seriously most of the time, as if reenacting an actual war movie, and while the fight scenes are impressively animated and choreographed, but these, too, are few in total.
With the DVD having come out on September 27, I would recommend grabbing a copy, as there are special features, a gag reel, an origin story, extra scenes, and a coverage of the fans of Warcraft. For any big fan of Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise, this is the movie for you.