This movie has been ten or so years in the making, and let me just say, it was well worth the wait. I loved it. I'm pretty sure I can do this spoiler free, but just in case, if you haven't seen the movie and don't want any inkling of anything that happens, please come back to read this after you've seen the movie.
My husband and I saw it Thursday night in IMAX 3D, and the visuals were stunning. There were lots of familiar cities and landmarks in it (Dalaran, Stormwind, Ironforge, Goldshire, Karazahn, The Dark Portal....there are some I'm forgetting I know), and it was so cool to see them on a big screen. It was like being able to take what you see in the game and just become one step closer to fully being in it, if that makes sense.
The movie is based off of Blizzard's game Warcraft, not World of Warcraft, so this has caused some problems for people that do play WoW. They're basically saying that the movie doesn't stay true to the lore, but I guess that it does stay true to a lot of the original game's lore, not the current lore we all know now. Also, when any book or game gets turned into a movie, usually studios will streamline some content to either make the film flow more fluently, or to explain or simplify things for people that might not have read the book/played the game, and are just coming to see the movie. Does that mean that everyone likes it? No, but as long as you understand it, you can accept it, move on, and appreciate what the movie has to offer. And this movie offers a lot, an engaging story line, top notch graphics (although there was a few times I wondered if they just threw a toy gryphon across the screen lol), and pretty good acting. The characters were well cast, although I wanted to punch the Queen of Stormwind in the face. Shes played by the girl that plays Tulip in Preacher, and just after seeing her in that panel at WonderCon just made not like her as a person, so it ruined the character for me a little bit. However, King Llane is played by the guy that plays Preacher, and he just does a great job. Hopefully with them working together on so many things, his charming personality will rub off on her. Overall though, all of the characters were really well acted- it was nice to see.
My favorite character was Lothar- he was everything you'd expect an Alliance solider to be. He had some dry humor and wasn't hard on the eyes, so that was a plus. I have to give it up to Khadgar too, he definitely showed that mages are more than just vending machines! Also, there are some very strong female characters for those of you that complain that WoW never includes them- Draka, wife of Durotan and mother of Thrall, is a fighter until the very end, and of course there is Garona, the half breed who basically has an Alliance heart but a Hordie face who is fierce in every way she can be. There are two little CGI's that are just adorable too- a Murloc has a cameo and baby Thrall.
Critics have panned this movie- they all hate it. I think they hate it because they've never played a Warcraft game and don't understand what the movie is supposed to be. I think fans of the game will love it. And the movie ends open ended enough that there can easily be a sequel (or five.....). It does end on a very cheesy note (ever wonder what a baby Thrall growling at you would sound like? you'll find out), but I don't really know how else they would have ended it. There was so much story that you see during it (and really, that you play through game-wise), that there isn't a good place to just stop. But like I said, I loved the movie, and we're actually going to see it again on Saturday, and take our kids this time. If you love Azeroth and everything surrounding it, and you want to see more of these movies made- let the movie studios know! Go out and see Warcraft this weekend!