“Lok’tar ogar!” is what cinema staff everywhere should have responded with when asked for a ticket for Warcraft (2016). If the response to that was a blank, confused face, the customer should have been escorted back to the showings board, and told to pick something else. I don’t mean that to sound as condescending as it does, but this one was made for the fans, folks. If it makes you feel any better, I never played the original games, and the part of lore chosen for this movie goes a bit over my head, too.
So no, this isn’t a World of Warcraft movie. I pray to the Movie Gods that there will be one day, I’d love to see Arthas’ story on the big screen, but years before the MMORPG was released, existed Warcraft, a PC strategy game from the 90’s. The World of Warcraft we know now has more races than I have fingers (8 and 2 thumbs, if you’re wondering) but the original Warcraft focused solely on the Humans and the Orcs, or so Wikipedia tells me.
There is so much lore surrounding these games that I won’t try to go into detail about the plot in fear of the fanboys shooting down my inaccuracies. I honestly started playing WoW 9 years ago just so that I could understand what my friends were talking about, and created a Mage named Lunar because I was told they could turn people into sheep, and I thought that was cool. The moment in the movie when Khadgar used Polymorph on a guard gave me no end of happiness! My point anyway, is that I’m a casual fan. I tend to click away the lore given to me in game for favour of hunting down quest items and treasure.
For the fans, there’s plenty to enjoy in the movie. One of my favourite parts was seeing the lands I’ve come to know better than my home town brought to life, as well as my favourite raid location, Karazhan. In fact, I almost wanted to get on my high horse and complain about the greenery surrounding that beautiful, looming building, and then the events in the movie showed just how Deadwind Pass came to be, and that was honestly pretty awesome. There are plenty of nods to the game, plenty I probably didn’t spot myself (I saw the fishing lure at the end, though!) but that’s just all the more reason to rewatch it.
That said, I wish Blizzard had picked a different story. I know that this one is the foundation of it all, and really the hardcore fans would have complained if they didn’t start here, but World of Warcraft brings so much more to the table. I want to see Illidan, I want to see the Lich King, I want to see my beloved Paladins in their Tier 6 armour, heck I’d even love to see Deathwing destroy everything I love and hold dear.
I just hope that Warcraft made enough money to warrant more movies. They’re all going to be CGI fests, I accept that, but there are so many great stories to be told that could be loved by fans and newbs alike. Just...leave the Pandas out of it Blizz, okay? We can do without them for a while…
P.S. Travis Fimmel for everything please. I love that man.