Gamers would be relieved to know that Warcraft offers a well-rendered world. There’s a heft to the orcs and a scale to its landscapes. An effort was made to ensure that the visuals stayed true to the game.
You can tell that Duncan Jones is earnest enough to make something out of this video game adaptation. The story does explore the complexities of power dynamics on both sides. King Llane is doing everything to protect his realm while also dealing with rising conflict among his allies, while Chieftain Durotan is loyal to his horde but not blind to the consequences of its actions.
Unfortunately, the writers of the movie are more concerned with something else rather than making good use of these elements.
The cast is talented, but they’re wasted on characters that are as one dimensional as their video game counterpart – leader, hero, warrior, and mystic. They’re thrown into subplots to prepare for the next sequel, which also resulted in unnecessary plot points in a predictable movie.
It didn’t help that the adaptation assumes its viewers already know Warcraft lore, so non-fans will be confused. Anyone who believed the trailer would be disappointed to know that there aren’t any epic battles here, except for a few skirmishes and one badly edited confrontation between the humans and orcs.
The character-driven story is commendable especially in this kind of movie, but this serious approach doesn’t mesh well with the cartoonish superficiality of its world. Along with forgettable bursts of action and run-of-the-mill plot, Warcraft is a lifeless two-hour-long botched adaption that reminds us of ill-conceived cash grabs.
If you’re a gamer who wants to see the World of Warcraft brought to life on the big screen there’s something here for you. Otherwise, it’s no different than one of the Transformer movies as a loud CGI-plastered cash grab.
Warcraft is a lifeless sword-and-sorcery adventure that's more concerned with setting up a franchise than telling a story.