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Why the Warcraft Movie Doesn’t Deserve Such a Bad Wrap

world of warcraft movie review

While Warcraft the movie, which released June 10, may have gotten quite a few negative reviews from a lot of the professionals, it did well with many average viewers and a close evaluation by me shows that the creators did quite a bit right. Although it’s far from the best movie of the summer, it doesn’t seem to deserve such a bad wrap, as it brings together incredible effects with an interesting and complex key plot for an action-packed thriller that you don’t need to be a WoW buff to understand.

At the same time, the movie pulls well from the storylines of the video game, catering to the WoW fanbase. It sets the scene in the peaceful realm of Azeroth, which has suddenly become threatened by invading orc warriors that are fleeing their crumbling home in search of another. Without giving away too much of the film, check out my pros and cons list along with my overall rating for it below:



The movie masterfully combines human and mythical characters with a make-believe land. The scenes seem incredibly realistic, with intense detail that makes it worth seeing the picture in 3-D. It relies often on overview angles, in order to set the scenes, before zooming in, helping to take the viewers into each of the many parts of the mysterious world of Warcraft as the film advances. This is no doubt one of the strongest points in the film. For game players especially it’s important, as it helps to bring to life the game that they’ve seen in so much less detail on the computer screen, especially with less advanced versions of WoW.

The fights are probably the most impressive parts of the movie visually, with continual violence depicted with intricate weaponry, blood, facial expressions and constant movement.

Main characters:

world of warcraft durotan

The film’s main characters have a complex array of emotions making them seem realistic and compelling. Durotan, for example, has a brave and sad outcome, and Gul’dan has a clear surface evilness with much more sinister motives within.

Depth of storyline:

While a lot of video games and sci-fi movies tend to focus on good versus evil, this film delivers a more complex plot. While the orcs are invading another land, they are doing so to escape their own troubled world. A core group of characters works to sort out the issues at hand, allowing you to get inside the emotions of main characters, and showing more of a grey and realistic world in which the lines between good and evil are blurred.

Keeps you enthralled:

It’s not clear initially what the outcome of this movie is going to be, and it doesn’t get more predictable as you go. This is largely because of the blurring between good and evil that goes on here. If it was clear who the good and bad guys are, you’d likely know right off what the outcome is going to be, at least in general, but the competing struggles make it impossible to tell.

You don’t have to be a WoW gamer to like it:

Although the fan base is highly considered here, with so many elements from the video game like scenery, characters and plot, anyone can get caught up to speed with what’s happening after a few minutes in, giving the film more of a mass appeal. I would absolutely recommend it for those that haven’t played World of Warcraft.  Although there’s no doubt that gamers familiar with WoW will enjoy it better.


Initial confusion:

There is no narrator at the onset of the film, making it a bit difficult for everyone but especially those not familiar with the game to catch onto the plot immediately. This could be a turnoff not so much for those watching in theaters but at home down the rode, as it’s a little harder to get into the plot of the film than it needs to be. Some kind of quick narration at the beginning could have saved from this issue, albeit, it would have taken away from the authenticity of the film which tries so hard to put the viewer into this other world.

Many shallow characters:

A lot of the characters within this film are simply used to advance the plot, rather than having a real role themselves. It detaches from the effort to create a realistic world with this film, which is such an important part of this movie. Having more characters with substantial parts that were simply about taking the viewer into the Warcraft world would have been beneficial.

Too much action within the film:

World of warcraft movie action

The main characters are quickly rushed through this film, likely explaining in part why these shallow characters are used to quickly advance the storyline. The film was cut by roughly an hour for theaters and the director’s cut might provide a more enjoyable version that doesn’t have these issues. It would have been good to get to know both the characters and their world even more, as some of the relationships and minor plot points seem a bit undeveloped.

Unessential plot points in order to set up for sequels:

The creators would have been better off sticking to the core storyline, as opposed to trying to set up this movie for sequels. I think this is partly why minor plot points within the film seem so underdeveloped. While that is likely a way to make it easier to produce sequels, and based on its box office numbers there are sure to be some, it detracts from the film at hand. Viewers want to be enthralled in this story, not left hanging with incomplete pieces. If anything, a sequel should be introduced by adding onto the core story or taking a natural offshoot of it and advancing that.


In summation, I thought this was a good film with an interesting key plot that keeps you guessing. It’s flaws were undeveloped characters and minor plot points, along with initial confusion. With the special effects, it’s certainly a cool film. I’d give it 8/10 stars overall, not far off from what many individual film viewers gave it, despite negative commentary from a lot of professional critics.


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