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Film Review: Warcraft

Film Poster: Warcraft
Film Poster: Warcraft

Sets the bar high and puts the Star Wars Empire on notice. The $160 million budget is all up on the screen. Warcraft is the current state-of-the-art.

I knew nothing about the immensely addictive, monstrously successful video game “Warcraft”. I prefer to see a movie without having read anything about it. And I do not read other reviewers before I see a movie because I do not want to be influenced.

So, without knowing anything about the world of Warcraft, I went to the IMAX 3-D theater. What a remarkable, rich and vibrant world has been created by director Duncan Jones and his CGI team.

Who are the Orcs? Who is that outcast, chained half-breed woman? Can we spot the humans? The world of WARCRAFT is Azeroth. The Orcs, massive man-creatures decked out in tribal ornaments and fiery temperaments, have left their kingdom of Draenor through a giant portal.

The Orcs have a powerful weapon called the “fel” which is the force that opened the portal. It requires the sacrifice of a soul. It feeds off a living beings energy.

Just like the one recently built on Earth. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) cost about $13.25 billion to build and $1 billion a year to operate. All that money to find the theoretical Higgs boson? All that time and money spent for finding something that would change the world? Have you felt a change since it was discovered? Luckily, and supposedly, the LHC found it. What about finding evidence for other dimensions existing in space and time? Or, as some have suggested, the real purpose of the LHC is to “open a door to another dimension.”

Sergio Bertolucci, Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, admitted “‘Something may come through’ dimensional ‘doors’ at LHC”. Bertolucci added, “Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it.” The capabilities of CERN and evidence suggesting that it is being used as a literal TIME DISTORTION machine is a reality.

Film Image: Warcraft
Film Image: Warcraft

Working from a screenplay by Charles Leavitt and fan’s knowledge of the Warcraft world and its history, director Jones gives the Orcs leader, Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), a fearsome personality and a very purposeful message-bearing armor. His costume is adorned with skulls of his enemies. Gul’dan brought all the tribes together and, with enough Azeroths as sacrifices, can bring his newly formed army, the Horde, through the portal.

The first group of Orcs to go through the portal – using the military tactic of Reconnaissance-in-force (RIF), intends to assess whether or not Azeroth is worth making their new home. They have brought a chained prisoner with them, half Orc/half Draenei, Garona (Paula Patton). So, there are humans mating with Orcs on Draenor.

There are also humans on Azeroth. Of course, they are the rulers, King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper) and his wife Lady Taria Wrynn (Ruth Negga) of the Stormwind Kingdom.

Gul’dan has an enemy within his people. Durotan (Toby Kebbell) is a chieftain with a pregnant wife Draka (Anna Galvin). Draka refuses to stay behind and steals away with the initial cross-dimensional landing party.

Meanwhile, Azeroth’s military commander Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) has to deal with the Orc pre-invasion and the Guardian of Tirisfal, Medivh (Ben Foster), who also knows the way of the dark side of the fel and is experiencing demonic episodes. He’s conflicted.

All the characters – and WARCRAFT is loaded with highly recognizable, fascinating characters – have back stories that will hopefully come forward in sequels. The only character that brought a halt to the movie was fresh-faced apprentice sorcerer Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer).

I want to know the history of Garona and what happens to Lady Taria and the baby Orc. I think there is something special coming his way – but I doubt he could talk the Orcs into circumcision.

Duncan Jones did a terrific job of giving each character a strong personality. The CGI work is astonishing. WARCRAFT deserves a second viewing for those not familiar with the World of Warcraft. It was very easy to leave reality outside the theater and consider the possibility that the LHC might actually bring back an Orc.

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Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society:

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at


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