Warcraft (the film, with spoilers)

Watched Warcraft last night. I left thinking two things:

  1. I really want to play Warcraft 3!
  2. I can’t believe they spent that much money on a live action cut scene explaining the back story to Warcraft 3!

As for the rest of it, it wasn’t really a bad movie, but it certainly wasn’t a good one. And I think that is just about as good as a Warcraft movie is gonna be. I mean, the background material is fairly dumb (the Honest Trailer for the game called it “Tolkien for 13 year-olds”, which isn’t accurate, since I started LotR in middle school, but I digress). Once you get to the really advanced parts developed for WoW, well, it is just silly.

On the bright side, there was so much magic! Like, even though only a handful of characters could use magic, it was all over the place. Can we have more magic in fantasy cinema, please?!

Here are my main complaints:

  • If you were not well aware of the source material, would this movie make any sense? I know more than most folks, and it seemed like a rehashed Warcraft 1 script, but I wonder if one had never played any of the games if the main plot would make any sense.
  • During a parley scene (it is in the trailer), a translator is needed to convert English <-> Orc. But something really weird happens: when Durotan switches to English for cinema viewers, the translator is still translating in the background… except they are speaking in Orc. To the Humans. What? That made no sense to me, and I was hardly able to follow the speech because I thought I was missing someone…
  • I don’t get Orc culture at all. Like, Orcs in Warcraft are not the evil beings from Middle Earth, though Blizzard took a while to get to that in games (really, with Thrall in WC3). But they are bat-guano insane. What kind of sentient species is so self-aware as to claim it is their way to handle things with war (and we know this to not be true-ish, because of the expanded backstory from WoW). They bother me because Orcs are created from stereotypes used in a real world historical narrative used to marginalize other groups of people, but they crank those stereotypes up to 11.

I was going to include some spoiler discussion, but I may need to do something else to get the spoiler tag working. More to come!

I watched this movie with the people I played WoW with when it first came out. All five of us managed to make it, actually. One of the people worked at Blizzard. It was his second time watching the movie (he’d watched it opening night with another group of WoW-playing friends) and he still said, “I’m really familiar with the lore, and I still had trouble following it… even after the second time.” We queried if he’d watch it a third. He said no. lol. Oh, plus one person who knows zero things about anything Blizzard. That was hilarious. He didn’t get any of it.

I was kinda -_____- about the “o noes I had to betray them for the greater good but no one will ever know” thing… maybe we’re just used to that by now in Blizzard lore. The pain!!!

I was also confused about how Garona had learned to speak all the languages. If she was raised among Orcish-speaking folk, how did she learn Common (and Draenei, too) so fast? I mean yeah she said “from talking to the prisoners” but she must have spent a loooooooottttttt of time with the prisoners. And the whole Draenei thing (all of it, not just Garona being half Draenei (which itself was an excuse to make us feel for her because she’s an outsider)) felt like it was left hanging. Eating the souls and whatnot. I feel like they weren’t even needed for this movie, but we know what’ll happen so we know why they’re there. It’s just weird and almost filler.

Okay, here is the really weird part about that: Garona is (I don’t know, probably, maybe) half human!

This weird (cited) note in a wiki page popped out to me just after the movie released:

Garona’s parentage in the movie is definitely half orc and half human, not half draenei. It also is revealed her mother was supposed to be the orc side.

Now both sentences are inaccurate. There are two pages cited, the first in inconclusive and the second is flat out wrong.

First, there is http://www.hitfix.com/harpy/fun-fact-warcraft-quietly-changed-the-origin-story-of-one-its-crucial-heroes?ModPagespeed=noscript, which is a website that is super-broken if one doesn’t load scripts, but the primary claim is:

When I struck up a conversation with someone very close to the production at the Warcraft premiere after-party, laughing how I’d been convinced that “Draenai Mother” was Garona’s mom, I was hit with a ton of bricks when they responded with “Haha! But what did you think of her father being Medivh?” I had completely missed it. What I’d thought was Medivh sharing a story of love and loss with the future mother of his child was actually a confession that he was Garona’s long-lost dad.

Okay, I picked up on that, too, and I will return to that in a moment, after I rant about the second sentence.

The claim that Garona’s mother was Orc comes from a quoted page of the movie novelization, at Warcraft Official Movie Novelization - Christie Golden - Google Books.

WTF whoever quoted that?! That is Draka, Thrall’s mother, and is depicted in the movie. No idea how that happened…

Okay, back to that scene with Medivh and Garona: I totally thought e was implying that e was Garona’s parent. But that didn’t make sense to me because I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Warcraft-verse. And I know of a character named Med’an.

Med’an’s parent are Garona and Medivh…


I am totally okay with them changing the origins, backgrounds and hookups in a story, but that is just so weird! Genetics don’t change like that in alternative timelines! I don’t like it!