Jun 18, 2020
Warcraft (2016), a recap (part 5 of 7)
Previously on Warcraft: The orcs were almost done with Gul’dan’s dimensional gate, which if successful, will doom Azeroth to a full-scale orc invasion. Token Good Orc Durotan met with the humans to hammer out a little somethin’-or-other to their mutual advantage, wink wink. Unfortunately, Gul’dan’s goons were there waiting for them, and everyone only just got away except for Lothar’s son Callan, who died in a tragic plot device. Meanwhile, Acting Ensign Khadgar suspects that Cool Uncle Medivh might be possessed by evil green Fel magic and actually let the orcs into Azeroth.
The good guys find Medivh passed out on his ledge. The king throws Khadgar the keys to one of his gryphons to fly him back home to Not-Isengard. The last time we saw him around a gryphon, he’d never been on one before, and was obviously petrified of it; now he clambers right on and doesn’t even need directions.
Ten movie seconds later, Khadgar is dragging Medivh to the pool and Magic Jeeves is fretting about Medivh’s fragile health. Seems his magic mojo is being drained by something or other. He slips Medivh into the pool, and Medivh’s eyes briefly glow… dun dun dunnnn… green.
“I have to go,” Khadgar gasps. “We need the help of the Kirin Tor.” Oh, so there are more then two sorcerers in the entire world? What exactly have they been doing while the orcs wrecked everything, I wonder to myself?
The scene dissolves to the camp of Durotan’s clan, where he hurriedly scoops up his crying baby. Blackhand accosts him. “You are a traitor, Durotan.” “No, one who values what we once were—like you used to.” “That time is past!” Blackhand admits. “We are but fuel for the Fel now.” But Blackhand eventually relents. “Do not make me take more innocent lives, chieftain.” Ah yes, if there’s one thing we know about orcs, it’s the high value they place on life.
Durotan begs Blackhand to spare his clan if he submits, and tearfully departs from his wife with instructions to call his sun “Go’el”. Go’el will never be called by this name in the movie.
Medivh wakes up on his fancy davenport to find Garona looking after him. They start chatting. Guileless Garona lets it slip that she’s got the horn for Lothar, presumably because he’s dumb, crude, and smelly, like the orcs she’s used to. Medivh responds by sharing a story about how he “traveled far and wide”, “met a strong people”, and found a woman among them who loved him for who he was. “If love is what you need,” he says, “you must be willing to travel to the ends of the earth to find it.” This is the movie’s graceless way of implying that Garona is in fact his daughter. She’s strangely moved by this admission, rather than, I don’t know, furious at Medivh for abandoning her and her mother to a life of torture.
Back at the orc camp, Gul’dan is talking to Orgrim, the new leader of the Frostwolf clan since Durotan’s rather dramatic departure; and because his evil credentials apparently haven’t been established yet, he’s got a bedraggled human kneeling at his feet, and he’s periodically sucking life energy out of him (but not enough to kill him) for no reason whatsoever. He wants to give Orgrim the Fel magic right then and there. Orgrim says they should wait until they can gather the clan in front of him, and make a whole big production out of it. It’s a transparent stalling tactic, and it works on Gul’dan perfectly.
Garona finds Lothar lying on top of a bar with an empty tankard. He makes some vague pitiable moans. Garona’s momentous meeting with Medivh has caused thirty years’ worth of daddy issues to develop all at once, and she hungrily attacks his face. Lothar breaks the kiss. “In my entire life, I’ve never felt as much pain as I do now,” he says, and on that awkward note, the scene dissolves.
All of a sudden, Orgrim is leading a band of non-Frostwolves who are setting fire to the Frostwolf camp and killing everybody in it, in direct contrast to the last scene where they were going to gather the clan and watch him get the Fel. Orgrim goes into Draka’s tent and says he’ll hold them off long enough for her to get a head start. She cuts down li’l baby Go’el out of his hammock and scurries away.
Khadgar, who at three gryphon trips is now practically a pro, navigates his mount into
a Uriah Heep album cover the floating city of Dalaran, where the Kirin Tor lives.
He lands and sprints up to a floating circular platform where the old head wizards are just chilling, like they just spend all day like this. Before he even gets all the way up the stairs, they start yelling at him. “How dare you come back!” “There is nothing for you here!” Robble robble, et cetera, et cetera. Khadgar says Medivh has been poisoned by the Fel and they’re all like “that’s ridiculous!” Then Khadgar holds up the page from the book with “Alodi” on it, and that shuts ’em up right quick.
The next scene takes place in a chamber where a huge black cube is rotating and wizards are spraying purple fire at it. This monolith is Alodi, and according to the head wizard, it’s “an artifact from a time before the Kirin Tor existed… no one beyond the Arch Council knows of its existence, and it will stay that way.” So they’ve gone from yelling at Khadgar to showing him ancient mysterious artifacts, literally in mid-sentence. Is there a single political authority in Azeroth that hasn’t taken him immediately into its inner circle?
Suddenly, the cube stops rotating and a portal appears in the side, which the head wizard assures Khadgar has never happened before. Khadgar enters and is immediately addressed by name from the ghost in the library. Inside is Alodi (an uncredited Glenn Close), an ancient, pre-Kirin Tor guardian who speaks only in cliches. She warns Khadgar that the Guardian has betrayed them. “I know you see what the Kirin Tor cannot,” she says. “It’s why you left them.”
“I don’t understand what you want me to do,” says Khadgar. “Yes, you do,” insists Alodi. “Trust in your friends, and you can save this world. Always remember: from light comes darkness, and darkness light.” Whelp, kind of vague, no? If only she’d thought to save him the trip by, I dunno, writing that message down someplace.
Cut to the manservant finding Medivh passed out on the floor.
The manservant helps Medivh into the pool, where he sinks in, fully clothed. He admits he may have let the orcs into the country, and he doesn’t know what else he may have done while he was
wasted under the Fel’s influence. Green begins to ooze from his body, his pupils darken, and a couple of thorny growths appear on his chin, because this movie doesn’t think we fucking get it yet. He kills the manservant for shits and giggles.
Back in the war room, King Llane is working on his tactical map, trying to figure out where best to put all his troops. Lothar, as a Maverick™ Loose Cannon™ , cares nothing for the conventionally-minded king’s cautious tactics, and wants instead to throw everything they’ve got at knocking the Great Gate down. Medivh teleports back in, saying he feels “restored”.
The king wants to keep some legions behind to protect the kingdom, like some idiot, but he supposes he can spare three legions so Lothar can try whatever stupid thing he has in mind. Lothar protests that his plan won’t work with anything less than literally all the troops.
Medivh, trying to calm Lothar down, lies about having met up with Durotan, and says that three legions, when combined with the rebel orc forces and his own magic, might just be able to pull it off. Lothar is skeptical of Medivh’s powers on account of his son just getting kebabbed, and casts aspersions about Medivh’s abilities. In a spot of laughably obvious manipulation, Medivh angers Lothar by suggesting that Callan was only trying to impress his father, and really, it’s Lothar’s fault he’s dead. Lothar does a you-wanna-go-brah motion at Medivh and gets sent to the drunk tank to cool off.
Garona meets him there. Lothar is full of despair, anxiety, and anguish, emotions which translate on actor Travis Fimmel’s face as “just finished a doob the size of a baguette.”
Garona tells him she’s riding out with the king to help Durotan kill Gul’dan. Lothar tells her not to go. He tells her to protect the king. He tells her not to trust Medivh. I don’t think he knows what he wants. They are in wuv now, if you recall, and she tearfully gives him her most cherished of caveman baubles—her mother’s tusk on a string—before departing.
Will she succeed in protecting the king? Will Lothar make bail? Will Khadgar get his Wizard GED? Find out in the next installment of Warcraft: The Motion Picture!