A Vibrant World Meets a Dull Story
Few fantasy franchises capture the attention of audiences the world over and make a notable impression upon the mainstream like Warcraft, which has existed in various video game iterations since the franchise’s debut in 1994. It’s a world rich in history, species, heroes, villains, and mysteries. With writer/director Duncan Jones at the helm, the beloved videogame world makes its way to the big screen with Warcraft, and it takes those many elements and brings them to life in an unadulterated form. If only the movie had also brought along a compelling narrative or any emotional investment in its many characters.
Like many of its games, Warcraft centers on the conflict between the humans of the world of Azeroth and the orcs of the world of Draenor, who have invaded Azeroth due to the slow death of their world. As these massive legions of warriors look to make this new world their own, the human kingdoms seek to stave off the invasion while a small group of noble orcs rebel in search of honor and a better world for everyone.
Warcraft’s greatest strength also happens to be one of the largest parts of its own undoing: a massive focus on bringing every possible aspect of the franchise to life in this live action adaptation. While the efforts to make each species look just right, have each location become a breathtaking recreation of the places fans have loved for decades, and have each piece of the lore in its proper place for this adventure should be lauded for their painstaking detail, the focus on fan service also comes at the cost of a satisfying and active narrative.