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For the Fans?

Human Rogue: The world feels so small. People are getting places instantly. There’s no sense of travel or adventure. I know people make fun of Lord of the Rings for its walking montages, but people can walk across Azeroth overnight and armies can march in two days. It feels rushed. Everything is on fast-forward. There is never a point where characters sit down and help us understand this world.

Elf Sorcerer: I feel like they rested on their laurels. Blizzard very much caters to their fans. I feel like that’s where they came from with the movie. Obviously, it worked with you [Drow Warlock] because you’re a Blizzard person.

Drow Warlock: I went in expecting to hate it. I went in expecting it to be complete garbage based on the reception. Because as much of a fan as I am, I still have very high standards for movies. I’m amazed that I liked it at all.

Elf Sorcerer: But I feel like only Blizzard people would actively go see it. If I had a choice between this and Jupiter Ascending, I would probably watch Jupiter Ascending. Jupiter Ascending is probably worse than Warcraft, but they catered to the people who they knew were going to be there and gave them what they expected. I think an hour longer would be more of that. I don’t think they had their teeth sharpened to make a movie for a general audience.

Human Rogue: It doesn’t feel finished? It’s like you’re watching the prequel comic to the actual movie.

Half-Elf Ranger: We keep talking about how they should have eased people in and a big part of that is character development. We have almost no knowledge of any of the characters. There is not a clear protagonist or protagonists and we know nothing about the ones who have to fit that mold. We have no reason to root for them. The character we end up knowing the most about is…Dothrak, there.

Drow Warlock: Durotan?

Tiefling Barbarian: The orc.

Half-Elf Ranger: Yes, Durotan. He’s the one we end up knowing the most about, but even with him, we only get little glimpses. There’s almost no character development at all.

Human Rogue: And he exits the movie surprisingly early.

Tiefling Barbarian: Yes, and it’s stupid.

Half-Elf Ranger: No, it’s close to the end.

Drow Warlock: There’s about 25 minutes left.

Human Rogue: When he left the movie, there was no one left for me to be invested in.

Tiefling Barbarian: So the entire point for him exiting the movie in that was to show what a bad guy this evil wizard orc was so the Horde wouldn’t follow him. Then they end up following him anyway, so what was the freaking point?

Elf Sorcerer: I mean, we have Donald Trump in the running for the Republican party.

Tiefling Barbarian: Let’s not go there! This is just a movie!

Elf Sorcerer: It’s a reflection of real life.

Tiefling Barbarian: Oh, God.

Drow Warlock: I mean, he was trying to kill him and take his place

Tiefling Barbarian: But there’s this specific line where they say they need to show everyone else how bad he is.

Half-Elf Ranger: And he did! And everyone was like “Holy shit, he’s awful!” But then they just follow him anyway.

Tiefling Barbarian: Here’s fifteen or twenty minutes that didn’t need to happen!

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Building Character

Human Rogue: Can we go around the circle and talk about a character or performance we actually liked? You can’t say the Gryphon.

[Everyone groans.]

Human Rogue: I really liked Toby Kebbell as Durotan, but I have to appreciate Ben Foster‘s really crazy wizard. It’s a really bizarre performance and I feel like he’s trying to give life to a character who doesn’t really exist on the page and I think he fares better than most everyone else.

Tiefling Barbarian: You already took away the Gryphon, so…the wolves that the orcs ride! Honestly, I don’t like playing humans in D&D because there are so many other interesting things. I’m a human every day and I want to get away from that. All of the other non-human characters were two-dimensional and boring and I didn’t like any of them. I didn’t feel for any of those characters. They could have all died and it would have been fine.

Human Rogue: How terrible was the young wizard?

Tiefling Barbarian: He was a good actor.

Half-Elf Ranger: Who?

Drow Warlock: Khadgar.

Half-Elf Ranger: Haaated him.

Tiefling Barbarian: I thought he was a fine actor, but again, I didn’t care about him.

Half-Elf Ranger: Everyone is doing okay work, I guess, but none of them are given anything to do. Like, what do you you know about Preacher [Llane Wrynn, played by Dominic Cooper]? You don’t know anything about him. He’s a king. That’s all you know.

Tiefling Barbarian: Preacher and Tulip [Ruth Negga] are in that.

Half-Elf Ranger: And neither of them do anything. They aren’t given anything to do. There’s nothing for anyone to do except Durotan, so if you have to pick someone, I guess you pick Durotan because he’s the one the movie tries the hardest to get you to understand.

Drow Warlock: Durotan is my favorite character in it, but I thought Gul’dan was really cool. I like how he turned out. I liked his performance.

Tiefling Barbarian: At least you know what he’s after. There’s that. He has clear motives.

Drow Warlock: I feel like the orcs were much, much better characterized than all of the humans. I joked to Elf Sorcerer when we saw it that the movie was “orcs vs. thirty-year old bearded white men.”

Tiefling Barbarian: Oh my God, yes. So many men, too. There’s just one female character that they shoehorned in and here’s another one who’s sister to another guy who doesn’t do anything.

Human Rogue: That aspect is disappointing because you occasionally see female human soldiers and female orcs in the ground. One of the great things about World of Warcraft is that you can be anything that you want to be. Here, it’s just a bunch of guys fighting a bunch of guys. It’s disappointing for a series that has proven inclusive before.

Half-Elf Ranger: Are those the only two races in Warcraft?

Tiefling Barbarian: No. There were elves and dwarves there, too.

Drow Warlock: There are a lot more, but this is just chapter one of a much bigger thing.

Elf Sorcerer: I really wanted to like the female orc because I like the idea of a badass female.

Drow Warlock: You mean the half-orc?

Elf Sorcerer: Yeah.

Drow Warlock: Garona.

Elf Sorcerer: That one. But she tries to go after the dude [Lothar] the day his son dies and it’s really awkward and her acting is just really poor. I think I agree with Drow Warlock because I’ve already forgotten his name. The evil guy.

Drow Warlock: Gul’dan.

Elf Sorcerer: I think he was pretty good.

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Daddy Issues

Human Rogue: I feel really bad for Paula Patton because I know she’s a good actress from other movies. But here, she’s stuck in this bad make-up and just feels lost for the entire movie.

Drow Warlock: She’s not supposed to be an orc, you know. She’s a half-breed.

Tiefling Barbarian: Which they kind of said in a throwaway line, but you never understand the implications of that or what it means.

Human Rogue: Was Ben Foster supposed to be her father? I felt that was implied and then immediately dropped.

Half-Elf Ranger: I thought that was where they were going, but they kind of pulled back from that.

Tiefling Barbarian: Who’s Ben Foster?

Half-Elf Ranger: The evil wizard.

Tiefling Barbarian: Oh.

Drow Warlock: The world the orcs came from is Draenor.

Half-Elf Ranger: Do they ever say that name?

Drow Warlock: I don’t think so. Remember all of those people in cages at the beginning? Those are the Draenei. Either she’s a half-breed of a Dranei and an orc or it’s the Medivh thing and he was on trip and decided to have sex with an orc. But I don’t think so. I think she’s half Dranei and half orc. I’m not sure about Medivh. The mechanics of that seem really…complicated.

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