Reviewed by Rev. Markus Watson
Rated PG-13. Running time: 123 min.
Our content ratings: Violence 7; Language 2; Sex/Nudity 2
Our star rating (1-5): 3
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the
garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when
you eat from it you will certainly die.”
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be
children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Based on the popular series of computer games from Blizzard Entertainment, Warcraft brings to the big screen the unrelenting war between humans and orcs. Because the orc home world of Draenor is on the brink of destruction, the orcs must find a new world in which to live. And find one they do—the human world of Azeroth.
The sinister orc warlock, Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), plans to open a portal from Draenor to Azeroth using a dark magic called “the Fel,” which draws its power by sucking life from living beings. In order to open the portal, Gul’dan uses the lifeforce of thousands of prisoners.
Once the orcs have crossed over to Azeroth, the battle is on between orcs and humans. But who are the bad guys? Surely, it must be the orcs. After all, they are invaders; plus, they’re really ugly. But then there’s Durotan (Toby Kebbell), an orc chieftain of the Frostwolf clan. Durotan seems to want peace more than war for the sake of his newly born child. And then there’s Medivh (Ben Foster), Guardian of Azeroth. He seems to be the ultimate good guy, but in the end….
Warcraft is not a particularly deep movie and it certainly won’t win any academy awards. The effects are astounding, though that’s not unusual these days. If anything, this movie raises the question as to whether or not such radically different beings could possibly live in peace. If so, how? If not, why?
This is certainly an important question for out time. In a very polarized world there are few questions more important. We know that God created the world to be a place of peace and harmony—a place of shalom. But we human beings brought our own agendas into this world. We believed we could decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong (the knowledge of good and evil). And we found ourselves in a world of violence, hate, war, and self-indulgence.
How can we restore the shalom that God longs for our world? Warcraft implicitly raises the question, but it doesn’t answer the question. Perhaps it will try in an upcoming sequel, though I would be surprised if it succeeds. Perhaps the only place to find the answer is by looking at the one who taught us love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
This review with a set of discussion questions will be in the July issue of VP.