I don’t review movies too often, there are so many reviewers out there and I know how much I disregard reviews myself. I rarely ever agree with critics on movies. Everyone has their own tastes, same with books or video games.
I’ve actually had the opportunity to see several movies in the theaters this summer, something that rarely happens for me. I’ll tell you something that might surprise you: of everything I’ve seen this year so far, Warcraft is by far the best movie.
Before you laugh your way to the unfollow button, hear me out.
I saw Civil War and while it was good it lacked so much that would have made it great. It felt rushed and the characters manhandled into their roles.
I suffered through TMNT2 and it was everything you should never do in a movie. (Some one please rescue Megan Fox from Massive Bastard and give her some real roles please). There was little to no character development and the plot was so thin as to be transparent. The cartoon had more plot and characterization in 20 minutes than that entire movie.
Which brings me to Warcraft. I played the game a few years after it came out, but not religiously like some. I left a while back and just never got back into it. So I came into the movie with only a few loose memories and no major expectations.
Within the first 5 minutes I’m blown away. It’s both epic and intimate. There are massive sweeping battle scenes that had me holding my breath and private moments so painfully intense I was in tears. I forgot I was watching a movie.
The best part? These characters really truly felt alive in ways that no other movie this year has accomplished. There was more characterization of Gul’dan in the first 3 minutes we meet him than Casey Jones got in the entire TNMT movie. This holds true for the rest of the large cast.
Where Civil War fumbled handling multiple character viewpoints, Warcraft excels and draws us in and shows us how both sides are much more similar than they ever would imagine. Each character had their own moment to shine but never at the expense of the plot. One of my favorite aspects was how the women in the movie were real, concrete and had agency.
So much credit goes to both the actors and the VFX people for making the orcs feel so real, and—dare I say it—human. Too many times I get distracted by the effects and get pulled out of the movie. This was not the case here. It was a beautiful meld of real and CG that only enhanced the story.
I can’t say much more without spoiling it but I will be seeing it again.