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A great Fantasy flick
John Thomas19 May 2016
I didn't have any expectations for this film,and it completely blew me away!Visuals were stunning,acting really surprised me,action was incredible.I really can't wait for the sequel cause the ending set it up really well.Magic was also pretty damn cool.Orgrim was a ferocious bad ass.It was a damn fine film,best of the 2016 dare i say.Bring on more,and it finally broke the video game movie curse!Go see it,you won't regret it!10 out of 10 for me!I think that it will have a good reception from audiences and critics.Warcraft fans will love it.Direction was amazing,one of the best motion capture for a film i've seen,i really hope it does well in the box office and review department cause it was really amazing!
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My cheeks hurt...
Nate Nimbus21 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
...but oh was I thankful for it!!! All through the movie I kept on having this big large smile sculpted into my face. For the record, I'm 25 years old, and I've played warcraft and wow for many years since when I was 13 or 14 years old. Ever since then, I haven't stopped playing. Therefore you can count me as a fan. Now onto the movie... Gosh, I saw it at a pre-screening, and I kept wanting more of it. It just never gets boring! I really enjoyed the little stuff that is found throughout the movie for the fans. I also incredibly enjoyed the intro sequence.

Those who argue the movie cuts too many parts or that it changes the story too much are totally wrong. This movie could not have shown the whole first time in its entirety - keep in mind that the lore lasts well over ten hours, making a movie this long would, well, make it way too long and besides, how would you financially sustain such a project?

OK, so there are changes in the movie - well, this is Duncan's vision of it. All of us have our own visions of the lore and books which may or may not be compatible with that of Duncan's, but I can safely assume that nobody can say they have a hundred percent the same vision of the story as Chris Metzen; that's the thing with story: each player / reader has a different vision of it. As for me, I was blown away. Never before have I felt so much at home in a movie, it is as if I had taken a walk in the town where I grew up, Stormwind, Goldshire, Ironforge, everything felt so much like home, I was moved. I cannot tell of another movie that had me shed tears just by seeing a landscape on screen.

As for the changes, well, I found good reasons behind all of them, and let me tell you right away, yes, maybe coming from a fan it will look like absolute heresy, but I enjoyed the story a lot. The actors were great, they were a lot into their characters, and for the first time, I had never seen orcs in such detail before, hulky, robust, terrifyingly but also relative.

Quite frankly, I can't wait for the next movie... In the meantime, I'll watch this one over and over again when I can. This movie has everything that a good movie needs to have, and more. Plus, it just might bring more people to actually play WoW. Parents, maybe some scenes will frighten your kids, but this movie has almost NO blood (even though it has a good share of battle) and the foes are undeniably evil, plus it has good values in it - friendship, courage, responsibility, sacrifice for a good cause, and the belief that anyone can help to change things. That will go down in history as being one of the best ever, for sure.
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WarCraft: The Beginning - Review
Corkee22 May 2016
I actually thought this film would be bad. Like most other video game movies I thought this was going to be a massive flop and just suck. This movie broke the video game movie curse with style. WarCraft surprised me even though I am a WarCraft fan.

If there are sequels WarCraft could easily be this generations equivalent of The Lord of the Rings. The acting was great, the effects were spot on and the action was epic. I was really impressed with the motion capture on the orcs, they looked amazing. Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar was a good choice. He did a really good job of portraying the lion of Stormwind. WarCraft has a lot of lore that could easily be made into a film series and I think this film did a good job of establishing the world of WarCraft for future sequels. Do I recommend watching WarCraft? Yes, WarCraft is a movie everyone can enjoy, although it may be too intense and violent for younger children. If you were a fan of the games there are Easter eggs for you. If you have never heard of WarCraft you will be amazed by the world and want more.
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A movie that could have easily been great.
ekicii12 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
You will see many reviews by movie critics that are too negative and many reviews by fanboys that are too positive. I'll try to look at this movie from the point of view of a long time Warcraft player as well as someone who might be unfamiliar with the source material.

The movie is edited badly, there is no real sense of time lapse in it. The characters are all over the world within minutes between each scene and it causes an unrealistic presentation of how large the world actually is and how fast these characters can travel from one place to another. While the movie wanted to keep the focus on many different characters at the same time, they could have made a slower and more realistic approach where some events could have simply been mentioned rather than presented.

The CGI is great, however it only looks great next to other CGI. Inexperienced viewers won't notice this much, however the CGI definitely stands out when real objects come into scene such as the actors. For the most part they've done a great job at making it all look as real as possible, but towards the end when there is a orc vs human battle in front of the dark portal, it got a bit sloppy.

The acting appeared to be "okay" for the most part, however the person who plays Khadgar definitely had some issues. He never seems quiet into it and comes across pretty self aware.

The aesthetic of the movie tries to copy the game nearly 100%. It's subjective whether this is a good or a bad thing, but I did not think it was a good decision. In a movie, the ridiculous and silly objects such as house sized anvils and shoulder armor twice as big as the wearers head looks the way they should, very very silly. They might have kept the style yet tried to make it seem a bit more grounded to decrease the silliness of it all. Though this is subjective.

The fight between Medivh and the others are, to put it simply, clumsy. It was sloppy and wasn't the fight the story deserved. With Khadgar and Lothar playing around with the silly clay monster and Medivh just walking around chanting. It might have been best for them to stick to the actual story where Medivh puts an aging curse on Khadgar and gets stabbed through the chest, causing the demon Sargeras to slowly emerge and get it's head chopped off. It is simpler and more direct. The way it is in the movie was simply too silly.

Generally speaking, the best parts of the movie were those of the interactions within the Orc society. The drama was there, the struggle was there and most of the development was there also. The same care was absent from the human side of the story, having a very forced and unemotional death scene for Lothar's son as well as an awkwardly revealed secret of Medivh's possession.

No matter my opinion, it appears the movie is set to have a sequel, and hopefully they will address most of these issues. Personally I would try to reduce the silliness aspect of the aesthetic and try to have there be more focus on the story so the characters don't just jump around so much. Also there should be more explanation for those who are not familiar with the story. A movie can't survive only with fan service.
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A MUST watch for all the Fantasy genre lovers and not only.
subxaero198921 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was lucky enough to get an invite to watch the movie in LA 2 weeks ago, in a screening about press.I was the only one foreign guy there(Cyprus but got invited since i am making my after-master practise here).

I have to note to everyone here that i am aware of World of Warcraft and the Warcraft games as IPs but i've never played any of them.

I am a huge Fantasy genre lover and this movie exceeded my expectations. My biggest concern minutes before movie aired was the quality of the CGI.I Knew this movie uses a lot of CGI.Well the CGI is breathtaking easily equal or better to AVatar and Dawn of the Apes, equally to JUngle book(what a great movie!) BUT with the difference that it is used in massive scale, which makes it even more impressive. Watching Hundreads of Orcs with unique characteristics and facials is mind boggling(with the positive way of meaning).

Orcs are beautifully beautifully made, main character Durotan is just awesome he is my favourite character, HUmans are OK at start i had an issue with how armors looked but people told me it is exactly how in-game is.IN terms of acting Ben Foster is hands down the best performer also Paula Patton and Travis Fimmel are nice, rest of the cast its slightly above average not great, but serviceable. Orcs overall are better portrayed than Humans, BUT thats the important thing if CGI was bad in this movie i would be really turned off, but the CGI is perfect so i can easily bypass the fact that 2-3 human chars weren't the best.

I Loved the plot, it is so rich and u can easily understand why some people said that this movie isn't even the 15% of the whole Warcraft Lore.Duncan Jones has done a great job for non-fans like me to easily udnerstand the movie, even though there are a few times that let u hanging which proposes hinds for a sequel.

Visuals are stunning and we can see probably the best implementation of magic that has been made in a movie.

Summing up this is a MUST watch for every person that loves Fantasy genre, easily the best fantasy movie after the last LoTR release(IT would be at LOtr level with 2-3 more decent actors). ANd easily the best video-game adaptation that has been made. 1-- Breathtaking CGI 2-- It feels more like a movie(rather than a video game movie) 3-- Incredible and rich lore/plot, Warcraft universe is HUge and after this movie i really want to explore it.

Give this movie a chance i know many are sceptical to any video-game adaptation, but this one it wont disappoint u.
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Warcraft fans, LOTR fans, Fantasy fans and even non fans, GO SEE THIS MOVIE ! You will love every second of it !
the_green_eye_t23 May 2016

First of all i have to tell you, i am a Warcraft fan and i had no expectations from this movie at all. I am NOT a Blizzard fan boy and i know when they do something poor and when they do something good.

If you like the cinematics that they make and if you like LOTR like me and fantasy, you will absolutely love this movie.

I was really scared about this movie being another video game movie chaos. Not by a landslide.

Warcraft is astonishing. The visuals are ground breaking, the acting is very strong and the emotional involvement between the viewer and the movie is breath taking. The familiar zones from Warcraft universe are all and are built exactly how they are suppose to be built, every Warcraft fan will feel like home and on the brink of shedding tears. I will watch this movie again in 10 June and gather all my friends that were not lucky enough to see it yet and go again, maybe twice. I need more, there has to be more Warcraft movies. Dunca Jones working alongside with Blizzard was a genius move and it shows throughout the movie. Almost 2 hours of pure awesomeness. 10/10 from me. GO SEE THIS MOVIE, you will not regret it !
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Is The Video Game Curse Broken?
MovieFan41421 May 2016
First off, i would like to point out Duncan Jones has made another fantastic flick. Better than source code, but me personally i loved moon so.... Warcraft isn't good enough to beat it lol. So Everything about this movie felt right. And i would like to point out this movie is about the warcraft storyline (First game) Not World Of Warcraft. The acting was good, the pacing was great. The CGI was amazing! Gul'dan was an awesome villain. Never heard of Daniel Wu But i feel like he will be voice acting more characters soon. I love how they wear that ridiculous armor that a normal person can't stand up in. Lothar was an amazing main character, and I only know Travis Fimmel because he's in the show vikings but i feel like if the rest of the critics like this movie this could be his breakthrough movie. If there is a sequel then i would definitely go and see it. And lads, The Video game curse is broken! Hopefully Assassins Creed will live up to the hype! Fans will love it, people who like lord of the rings or the hobbit will love it, just regular people who has never played WoW will love it! All in all, i think that the hype was well worth it and it is definitely going to be a recommend for me! After you have seen Captain America go see Warcraft, you wont regret it.
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byount-2896820 May 2016
I don't want to give away anything, but my god was this movie amazing! The motion capture was superb, the acting superb, and the plot itself was great. For the Warcraft fans you will see plenty of easter eggs that will make you grin or laugh. Over all it's what of my favorite movies I have seen this year.

I went to an early screening with my girlfriend and a friend of mine and even though they know nothing of the storyline or world of Azeroth, they absolutely enjoyed it. The characters were awesome (Duncan Jones did amazing) and so were the actors. From what I could gather, the entire crowd who went to see it enjoyed it.
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Fans, bring your non-WoW playing family and friends.
dularr122 May 2016
Watched this movie in a IMAX 3D theater. The sound makes it well worth seeing in a theater with a state of the art sound system. The Orcs are believable from the start. Well rounded characters with great motivation. The motion capture work by the actors was a work of passion.

Ben Foster and Ben Schnetzer did a wonderful job playing the magic wielding Mages. Perfect depth, effort and really showing the strain magic has on the human body.

Paula Patton did a fantastic job with Garona. Duncan Jones made a compelling ass kicking female character.

But more important for the fanboys, feel comfortable bring non-WoW playing friends and families to the movie. All non-WoW movie goers seem to enjoy the movie and really liked the CGI.
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So much potential, so little satisfaction
latinfineart14 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I should start by explaining that I am not a fan of comic books, movies made from comic books, nor movies that have a comic book type story, with the utter and complete lack of plausibility in every single scene. I do like magical realism, and fantasy though. This movie had a few good elements. Some of the giants were cool, and the costumes were probably the best part of the movie.

But, the movie was so overwrought, so chock full of hundreds of different elements, it would have been nearly impossible for even a top director to bring all of that together. It turned out to be a wish mash, a jumble of elements. Toward the last 45 minutes it was nearly entirely incoherent. I had no idea of who the players were, and it became a tangled mess.

At the beginning of the film, I thought there were enough elements, to create a satisfying story. At the end of the film, my two friends and myself all looked at each other, and felt the same way.

There were several occasions during the last hour that I was compelled to walk out. The only reason I stayed, is that I am currently overseas, in a location with few theaters, and few English films available.
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Movie is amazing!
derk sutts24 May 2016
Just seen it with a bunch of friends and it was amazing. My friends who came with me aren't even Warcraft fans and they even said they can't wait for a sequel, they said it was nothing like they expected, which is another shitty fantasy movie. They were on the edge of their seats the whole time and wanting more! Whenever they'd show Easter eggs in the background i'd go nuts and they had no clue why but they were too busy being into the movie to care to ask. I CANNOT WAIT to see another one of these movies!!! I even noticed a lot of people outside the theater who have never played the games or know anything about it, loved it. I even talked with an older couple for a good 10 minutes who loved it but didn't understand a few things and i cleared it up for them, they were very thankful. They were excited for another movie too!
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Not as bad as I thought, yet still...
Dan Stewart18 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Before I even get started: Yes, I have played the games. I actually did play all WC-games, starting in the mid 90s, and have been playing WOW on and off ever since 2005.

So, with that said, I was a bit worried about the movie when I saw the trailers, as a lot of the stuff looked very artificial and even cheap. Don't get me wrong, the CGI is pretty damn good, and you can see how much motion capture etc. has advanced.

However, it falls apart for me whenever one of the really good-looking orcs (as in: great CGI) are in the same scene as humans. Once that happens, it starts to look very artificial. Actually, the riding-wolves the orcs use look artificial in EVERY scenery, regardless of who else is in the frame. It's not their size, it's that they look really bad.

Also, some of the makeup looked pretty bad too. When I first saw the elves, I was rather amused, even though we only got a quick look at them, as their ears looked totally cheesy and artificial, especially the color. It looked like bad cos-play ears.

Well, of course, it's hard to pull it off, so let's get to the other parts: - The acting. I didn't enjoy the acting. There was almost no vibe at all between the actors. Some overacting happened (Wide-open stare of Lothar, who totally looks on the edge all the time. Yes, he tragically lost his son, but it was tiring).

  • The plot/setting. Yes, they have a lot of story to set up, as they apparently really want to make sequels. However, what was the goal here? Was this supposed to get new fans for the franchise, introduce people who have never played the games to the world of Azeroth? Why then have such a convoluted plot and such a huge cast, with so many things (Medivh being possessed etc) being unexplained. I can't even imagine how confusing some of this must have been for people who don't know any WC-story.

Was this supposed to be fan-service? Why then change so many things, have so many inconsistencies? I don't doubt that some of the changes to the lore might have been an attempt to create a better story. However, if you want to satisfy fans... they do NOTICE when you change things too much. Why is Dalaran flying? This didn't happen until much later. Why does Stormwind look like it did after it was rebuilt after the orcs actually razed it?

So much of it seemed forced... the Murloc-sound might make some people smile, but it was like "OK, let's just throw everything in there, all these innuendos and clues! Oh, and let's plaster the Kirin Tor icon EVERYWHERE"

  • The dialogue was... ridiculous

  • The love-scene/love-story. Gee, yeah, The Hobbit showed me that it apparently is totally and absolutely impossible to make a movie without a love-story thrown in. Regardless of what happens, someone has to fall in love with someone, no matter how forced or silly it looks. So the little love-story here feels much too forced, develops much too quickly (well, at least that part is over quickly) and just is not needed. It's like they went through the checklist and went "OK, love-story, done!"

  • The music... what happened? I did actually listen to the score by itself as well, because it does not stand out at all in the movie, I hardly noticed there was music there, it was that bland... and not only does it sound rushed, with way too many repetitions, it also sounds like a sample-library-MIDI-score from about the late 90s. I have heard B-movies with a better-sounding and better-produced score.

  • The armor. Yeah, I know, WOW is well_known for ridiculous armor, its like a big inside jokes. Gigantic shoulderpieces etc. However, that's not the point here. The armor here looks ridiculous, like plastic with a tiny bit of gloss on it. It looks cheap. I heard some guys from WETA were involved here and I imagine that going like this: "Hey guys, so you make a fantasy movie? So OK, here is how you make armor, this is how you make it look a bit worn-in, here is to make it look like something smithed by hand and having been used" Reply: "Oh cool. Yeah. We don't have the time/patience/workforce/money for this, so let's make some casts, pour plastic into those, done". I was almost reminded of the props in movies like Flash Gordon seeing some of the plate armor in here.

  • The movie takes itself much too seriously. We all know that WC and WOW always had some silliness to it, that's part of it. And the slapstick-like little bits with Lothar and Khadgar were not like that. The only FUN scene was the hyper-aggressive gryphon in the end, when that went to work on the orcs in the background while Lothar again was over-acting in the foreground.

  • I didn't care at all about what happened to these people. Everything was so rushed, so crammed, so it was hard to feel anything when someone died.

I know that the "this movie has no warmth/no heart" is criticized as something critics use when they have nothing else bad to say or whatever. However, I have played these games and still love them, I have spent so much time in Azeroth, have read and experienced these stories. And to me, this movie feels dull, bland, cold, overstuffed, badly paced, badly written, badly scored, rushed and undecided whom it wants to be for. It's not quite as bad as I thought when I saw the trailers, but a 4/10 isn't exactly awesome, and it gets those points because you can tell they actually tried to do well...but IMO failed.
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Too many characters, bad acting, lacklustre plot, no character depth
Roger5 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
(I labelled this 'Contains Spoilers' but I am not mentioning anything in particular. Someone might disagree so I figured safety first.) I grew up playing Warcraft II and III extensively. When I heard a Warcraft film was in the making I thought this to be a good thing. There was so much material to draw from. So I went to see it at my local Cineworld on the opening day (30 May here in the UK).

Sadly the film does not deliver. With so many characters to keep track of and so little time for them all, I found that I didn't really care about the fates of any of them. It didn't help that two characters looked very similar and it was hard to tell them apart.

Then there was the acting. Ye Gods. I imagine this might pick up a few Razzie nominations. One particular line was so woodenly delivered I thought I was watching the Phantom Menace.

The plot was simple enough but because they were leapfrogging from character to character it didn't really have a chance to truly get interesting. For this film to do its characters justice it would need to have been six hours long.

They should have stripped away maybe eight or nine of the 12 main characters and focused on them. Plot is character. Character is plot. This was drummed into me in university. If you want us to care about the characters then give us time to see them fail, win, live, love. With one a few to focus on you can then develop the plot. Throw some emotion in there. They want to go the serious route? Fine. Make it serious then. But give us things to care about. Show us some character depth. Don't just throw a bunch of characters and names at us, expecting us to be so 'wowed' (no pun intended) that we forget that we're really just watching a mediocre advert for World of Warcraft. Because that's what it felt like.

Why am I being so critical of a film about orcs and humans? Why can't I just give it a 10 because I loved playing the games? Because I loved playing the games. See, when you really like something you want it to be as good as it can be when they do a film based on it later. Also, despite a few mediocre jokes the film wanted to go the 'serious' route. So I have to treat it seriously. And not go into 'fanboy mode' and give it a 10/10. Because this is not a 10/10 film.

Maybe it's all the Marvel films' fault, going in with a huge amount of characters. Somehow they pull it off, though. Warcraft didn't. They say 'go big or go home' but in this case they should've started off with something smaller. There are enough fans for this to make a profit. I don't know if they should make a second one, though. Because if this first one is so bad but makes money, I don't think they'll learn from this mistake. They don't care about making a good Warcraft film. But that's the industry's problem in general and a debate for another day.
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Clearly watched a different movie to everybody else...
clambelho14 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Yeah so ill receive many glares at this review but i can only be honest with my opinion here. Having watched this movie and upon ending seeing hundreds of people around me applaud it left me in total bemusement! Perhaps i was over expecting for this movie but besides the really well made CGI, i was left in utter disappointment. I mean, how can we as movie lovers and somewhat "part time critics" actually completely ignore that this movie was not well made?? I get that we're lovers of Warcraft and its massive franchise as well as having been so attached to its characters for so many years just as i have been, but to say that the movie was brilliant is absolutely misguided to the fact that the acting was one of the worst i have ever seen in any movie ever made. Not only that but there was little to no thought at all put behind fight scenes. Did we all watch the same movie or am i missing something here? Surely fight choreography could have been taken seriously? Having spent loads of money on CGI why not add a little diversity to a battle? Whoever swung a sword first would defeat his opponent...zero blocking, zero shields used...why did any of them have shields anyway?? Scenes were rushed in and rushed out, the rookie Madge was so badly played by someone who can barely act. Please re-watch the movie and look at his facial expressions or even his acting skills for goodness sake! This disappoints me because it was like "okay we're going into this movie and we're just going to love it because its Warcraft and we've been waiting for this all our lives". Give me a break! The potential this movie had for so much more is crazy and yet we all turn a blind eye to what matters most about a movie spectacle all because we're thinking emotionally. Sorry but i enjoy watching a well made movie and this movie was far from well made. #notsorry
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Something need doing? Zug-zug!
tieman6410 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
From the hype-machine that brought you "Avatar", the species that brought you George Bush 1, 2 and 3, and the consumer indices that made glow-in-the-dark tampons a thing, comes Duncan Jones' "Warcraft", a high-fantasy film based on a high-fantasy video game based on high-fantasy films and novels.

"Warcraft" opens with a human soldier circling an orc warrior. What initially seems like an unconventionally patient action sequence quickly degenerates into stupidity as the two warriors suddenly charge at one another. The orc wins; he's a giant humanoid with massive biceps and a mighty hammer.

We're then introduced to an orc named Durotan. Chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, Durotan pledges allegiance to Gul'dan, a green-skinned shaman who is also a REALLY BAD VILLAIN. Gul'dan plans to use his SUPER POWERS to do BAD STUFF. This BAD STUFF includes STEALING ENERGY FROM NICE PEOPLE, creating a BIG ARMY, and turning the beautiful land of Azeroth into a SICKLY HELL-HOLE. Gul'dan's powers include mixed martial arts, green laser beams, soul-sucking hand waves and PAINFULLY DULL MOVIE VILLAIN DIALOGUE.

Duncan then takes us to Azeroth, where we're introduced to various human characters. These include Commander Anduin (Travis Fimmel), King Wrynn (Dominic Cooper), Guardian Medivh (Ben Foster) and a young wizard named Khadgar (Ben Schenetzer). All are generic white dudes with cumbersome names, designer facial hair, bad dialogue and the finest muscles four-months of intense cardiovascular can buy.

"Warcraft's" second act watches as our human heroes fumble about, desperately hoping to uncover the nature of Gul'dan's plan. As we the audience know what this plan is, as the plan is cartoonishly silly, and as our heroes spend most of their time in dreary libraries and chambers, all these scenes feel painfully dull. Compare to Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke", a similar fantasy flick in which exposition is cunningly disgorged.

"Warcraft's" first major action sequence occurs at the twenty four minute mark. Here a band of humans are attacked in a CGI forest by CGI orcs. It's a routine sequence, filled with the usual hack and slashing, growling, stabbing, light-shows and silly action-movie-poses.

We're then introduced to Garona (Paula Patton), a half human, half orc. A cliché in such adventure films, Garona exists to bridge divides between Man and Other. She leads the humans to an icy valley in which Anduin and Durotan negotiate a war-treaty. Unfortunately these negotiations are interrupted by Gul'dan's forces, whose arrival instigates the film's second major action sequence. Occurring at the 58 minute mark, it climaxes with Anduin's son dying as Anduin watches helplessly behind an energy shield. Recalling Qui-Gon-Jin's death in "Phantom Menance", or Spock's in "Wrath of Khan", this Big Emotional Moment reeks of cynical reverse engineering.

More dull dialogue and pseudo-political manoeuvrings occur, in scenes which play like a cross between "John Carter of Mars" and a perpetually buffering Youtube video. These scenes include a trip to a manna-pool, a "conversation about love", hokey teleportation devices, irate griffins, and a journey to Dalaran, a floating city in which a powerful sorceress (Glenn Close) is kept in a maximum security prison because she knows the truth about stuff the audience doesn't really care about.

"Warcraft" then ends with one of cinema's most cumbersome action movie climaxes. Whilst orcs and humans battle to the death, our human heroes perform an exorcism on a possessed wizard. These "exciting" sequences have no sense of style, tension or rhythm. Lacking originality, interesting tactics or psychological clashes, they largely involve hundreds of CGI characters yelling, hack-and-slashing or lunging inanely at one another. Compare to the large scale battles in Kurosawa's "Ran", the climax to Michael Mann's "Last of the Mohicans" and of course Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movies, which offered a blend of adventure, Olympian seriousness and slap-stick silliness. Duncan's film, in contrast, is solemn and one-note to a fault.

Despite its 160 million dollar budget, "Warcraft's" vistas and visions are mostly unconvincing. Its orcs live in uncanny valley, with dead eyes and goofy tusks which better art designers would have reworked. The film's cities, forests, mountains and tribal encampments look similarly generic and/or cartoonish. And like most high-fantasy films, the fact that we're positioned to root for feudalistic monarchs and thuggish warlords isn't questioned; in the grand scheme of things, Gul'dan's no more a jerk than the film's supposed heroes.

"Warcraft" ends with several of its major characters perishing, a bit of audience-contempt designed to set up future sequels. It was financed by Legendary Pictures, one of the first production companies exclusively set up by hedge fund managers, private equity firms, banksters and big Chinese conglomerates; the far East being the modern blockbuster's new El Dorado.

"Warcraft" was based on a series of real-time strategy games by Blizzard Entertainment, in which players harvest wood and minerals and slowly build little forest enclaves. A better film would have devoted its running time to such bucolic resource gathering and simple community building. Compared to Duncan's vision, 120 minutes of orc manual labour sounds like bliss. Work! Work!

3/10 – Needs more woodcraft. Worth no viewings.
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Stay away if you love the lore!!!
Jedlosson9 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers

If you have read the books from Warcraft universe and played other WarCraft games (especially I, II and their expansions) and if you are a fan of WarCraft's lore - you MUST say away from this movie or it will completely ruin your week. 0/10

If your only contact with Warcraft universe was World of WarCraft - then you MUST go to the cinema and watch this. You will love this movie. 10/10

The writer of this movie completely scratched all the lore from the books and games.

There is no Gul'dan, the Warlock of the Inner Circle and Destroyer of Dreams - the leader and mastermind of the Shadow Council and chieftain of StormReaver clan. There is just this choleric green old guy with self-control issues and no friends - yeah, and there is no Shadow Council whatsoever (not even Terron Gorefiend or Cho'gall)... In fact, there are no Warlocks and Necrolytes or at least Shamans - only guy using magic on orc side is in fact Gul'dan himself.

Well, on the other side, there are changes too. Kirin Tor is probably happy with Medivh, they do seem to trust him. Khadgar is the bad guy here, he got banished. While in the books, it was Khadgar who was sent by the Kirin Tor to spy on Medivh under the pretense of an apprenticeship. In books, Medivh was considered a hardly controlled result of undesirable event when Aegwynn gave guardian's power to her son instead of a chosen person by the Tirisfal Council.

Also, there are no priests fighting for StormWind. There is no Alonsus Faol or at least a mention of him or his Holy order of Northshire. I wonder who will set up the Paladin order then (I guess Uther Lightbringer will have a change of occupation and become a dentist instead).

In fact, there isn't a heroic battle for StormWind. King Llane dies like a fool in front of a Dark Portal in a touching "self-sacrifice = Garrona please kill me!" scene. Instead of being murdered with his heart cut-out.

Don't even get me started on why there isn't Gul'dan's coma after death of Medivh. Why there is no Orgrim Doomhammer's rebellion ending in killing the Shadow Council members (I wonder who will be the Death Knights if there is not Shadow Council). Or why there is no Medivh versus Arcanagos (blue dragon) confrontation.

The last and complete fail is the end of the movie in which Lothar stands in StormWind City and yells "For Azeroth and the Alliance!". WTF? There is no Alliance yet! Alliance of Lordaeron was created by King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron and Lord Anduin Lothar several years after the destruction of StormWind city!

Whoever wrote the script for this movie REALLY hates WarCraft and its lore. Fans of lore, stay away! (SPOILER ALERT)
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A truly wonderful movie.
jpisrockish20 May 2016
This movie is incredible. After seeing the first movie I have to say we will definitely in the oncoming movies see a rising Arthas fall to evil. Incredibly well done. A look into the lives of our famous Warcraft characters had me immersed and I was in love with the cinematography. I cannot wait to see Medivh & Sargeras in the movies. I wonder when we will get to see the drama between Illidan & Malfurion. I can't wait for the next one so excited. Thank you for an incredible movie. This movie is incredible. After seeing the first movie I have to say we will definitely in the oncoming movies see a rising Arthas fall to evil. Incredibly well done. A look into the lives of our famous Warcraft characters had me immersed and I was in love with the cinematography. I cannot wait to see Medivh & Sargeras in the movies. I wonder when we will get to see the drama between Illidan & Malfurion. I can't wait for the next one so excited. Thank you for an incredible movie.
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A forgettable flick that's everything I don't particularly like about Warcraft
leorehnberg16 June 2016
I can't say I was expecting much from the movie, but I at least anticipated that the CGI would look even better than the cinematics from the campaigns of Blizzard's popular game series. It did not. Maybe the detail and resolution was higher, but if so, it was heightened at the cost of the lively playfulness in the designs of the games. You can either make a movie look realistic or marvelously unreal - this was neither.

The pacing also felt off from the get-go... there was no time to settle with any characters. No time to build a mood. Awkward and predictable dialogue, weird cutting between scenes and unnecessarily many "character - learns - terrible - news - looks - up - to - the - skies - and - goes - "my...God!"-types of shots. It didn't need to have ended up this way, considering how long this project has been underway.

Blizzard have always been very keen on borrowing elements of lore and character design from other fantasy leviathans - Warhammer, LOTR, Starship troopers or whatever it might be, but they always do so thoroughly and with both inspiration and cheekiness. This movie didn't have much of either. It tried, and at times achieved the "charming cheesiness"-level of the Star Wars franchise, but I think I prefer to remember the story of the first invasion of Azeroth the way it was told through the original game series.
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Beautiful Visuals and Strong Soundtrack but not much else going for it...
TheDanishCinemaGoer27 May 2016
Here in Denmark, Warcraft had its premier today so obviously I flocked to the cinema to watch the movie. And the movie turned out to be exactly what I expected. The film looked and sounded wonderful (I'm already thinking Oscar nominations for visual effects, sound editing, and sound mixing), but the story was weak and the characters vanilla. The CGI, which I had feared, turned out to be pretty gosh darned good (especially in relation to the orcs). The acting department of the film was not anything unexpected with a few decent performances and otherwise plain and wooden acting that seemed to gloss over the otherwise dramatic and interesting situations that some of these characters were thrown into. The largest issue with this film however is the weak story, the unbelievable screenplay, and the fact that the movie relies on the audience having previous knowledge of the Warcraft lore (which I don't).

Travis Fimmel, who I've only ever seen in Vikings, plays the human protagonist, Anduin Lothar, and does so decently. Now this is obviously not a groundbreaking or jaw dropping performance, but for a big action movie like Warcraft his acting was fairly good. Fimmel makes the character interesting, relatable, and easy-to-root-for, which is frankly more than anyone could have expected, so props to him. But Fimmel was by no means excellent; on several occasions when he had to deal with loss there seemed to be a weird and inhuman lack of emotion. Paula Patton plays the half-human and half-orc female protagonist, Garona Halforcen, who flip-flops from Horde to Alliance and vice versa. This character, just like Lothar, has a nice relatability and is easy for the viewer to get behind. Patton's performance is also pretty decent, but just like Fimmel, she had moments of uncomfortable stiffness and lack of emotion. I do think though, that in this case that could also be due to a screenplay that totally lacked any sense of believable dialogue. Ben Schnetzer also has a major role in this film as the mage, Khadgar, who accompanies Lothar for the majority of his journey. Although the character is cliché (I'll be saying that a lot), Schnetzer's decent wit and mildly sarcastic approach makes the character fairly compelling and interesting. The character's major moments however are ruined by unpleasing directing and weird dialogue, but Schnetzer did alright.

Ben Foster also features in this film as the Guardian of Tirisfal, Medivh. Now I can honestly proclaim that I was lost for a large portion of his scenes which were something about mages and magic and 'fel', I think… But all that aside, Foster did not help much himself. Foster's portrayal was awkward and inconsistent, sometimes he'd loudly speak to himself and sometimes he'd have a large unjustified outburst of emotion with no true reason behind it, but for the sake of the story. Dominic Cooper portrays the young and dashing King Llane Wrynn, who rules Azeroth. Cooper's character is awfully clichéd, but is wonderfully grounded and believable and seems to mend some of Foster's scenes. But ultimately the character fails to get the audience to back him and it seems truly outrageous that the same actor who made Howard Stark a likable character played such a dull character in such a big movie. Toby Kebell plays the noble yet awfully underused character of Durotan, the leader of the Frostwolf Clan (a clan of orcs). In the very beginning of the film, the character is seen with his very young son, and this helps make the character appeal to the audience. Although the character itself is interesting, and Kebell's acting is decent, the character is so underused and pushed aside for story lines and plots that fall incredibly short of Durotan's.

Robert Kazinsky and Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabbs in Spongebob) play Orgrim Doomhammer, the reluctant follower and occasionally good friend of Durotan, and Blackhand, the aggressive war chief of the Horde, respectively. They both do decently in their roles and Kazinsky especially has nice chemistry with Kebell on screen. Daniel Wu is also thrown into the film as the classic evil manipulative magician-type character. Though the character itself is cliché and has no true backstory or anything (at least not in the film), Wu does play the role well and if it were not for IMDb, I would never have guessed that Wu had played that character. Ruth Negga and Anna Galvin also feature in the film as Lady Taria, Wrynn's wife, Lothar's brother, and queen of Azeroth, and Draka, Durotan's wife respectively. The two are really just shoehorned into the movie to make Wrynn and Durotan more relatable (I guess) and serve no purpose but to be wives, and although Draka especially gets a few moments to shine, she is– despite significant screen time– absolutely forgettable. Negga's acting in the film is depressingly and cringe-inducing wooden, while Galvin's was a little more believable, but was still to a certain degree weak due to the lack of emotion she put into the character. And finally– because I'm tired of writing about these dull character– Callum Keith Rennie plays Moroes, Medivh's assistant (maybe). The character is never really explained and although having a significant handful of scenes with Medivh I have no clue why he was in the film or what his relationship was with Medivh. But despite all that I can still point out the fact that Rennie's acting (like countless other's) was uncomfortably wooden and he seemed to put no effort whatsoever into making the dialogue believable.
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Warcraft: The Beginning Movie Review (SPOILER FREE)
Carleton Rutter10 June 2016
Warcraft: The Beginning is directed and co-written by Duncan Jones. It stars Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell, Ben Foster and Paula Patton

What's it all about then?

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

What are my thoughts?

Serving very much as a passion project for Duncan Jones who is widely known as a huge fan of the source material, Warcraft serves as the British director's third feature length movie, with Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011) proceeding this movie.

Warcraft also hopes to end the nearly twenty year running streak of by-and-large horrendous video game adaptations. Therefore the movie-going public is looking to either this or Assassin's Creed (December) to wipe the slate clean. Warcraft as an IP has an immense worldwide following of millions, I have never played the game and know nothing about the mythology, so I was going in as a "Newbie".

As a result I felt a little bit short changed, I wouldn't say I was baffled by the proceedings, knowing the above premise is pretty much all I needed to know, what's more being a huge fan of Peter Jackson's middle earth masterpiece trilogy certainly stood me in good stead. However, The Lord of the Rings though - this is not, it really tries hard to be and each scene by Jones is lovingly crafted but it just does not resonate on anywhere near the same level.

Visually though, Warcraft is impressive, and at times stunning. No more so than the mo cap work of Toby Kebbell as Duratan (My favourite character). We really are starting to enter a new era as regards what can be achieved on screen.

The humans are a mixed bag, Travis Fimmel as Lothar, Warcraft's answer to Aragorn and Ben Schnetzer as a trainee wizard are probably my favourite. They at least go some way to offer levity in what is at times given some plot twists a pretty grim movie. Paula Patton as Garona is good as well. Ben Foster is miscast though, as Medivh the protector of Azeroth, they needed a much older actor to pull off the Gandalf-esque part. Finally, Dominic Cooper of all people phones in a wooden performance as Azeroth's King.

The story and dialogue is without question the Achilles heel of the movie. It seems to cram a huge amount of protagonists and story strands into a fleeting two hours. It clearly places itself as a franchise set up movie, but let's hope, (Given the general reaction thus far to the movie) Jones gets a chance to tell us the middle and end.

When you have been spoilt on an amazing trilogy such as The Lord of the Rings which is based on a critically acclaimed and beloved book, any movie maker that dare set foot on even similar ground does so at his own risk.

If you are a fan of the game, you will of course no doubt appreciate the movie on a completely different level as I hear there are Easter eggs galore for those who know where to look.

So after all this does it wipe the slate clean? Based on the movie itself, no but given the passion behind the camera I would say at least the director of this movie cared about the source material, and tried his best and for that yes it does. Let's just hope therefore that if the studio green lights any subsequent instalments, the story is on par with the visuals.

Personally though, I would say that if you are a fan of the game check it out, but if you are new to this world such as I, then just stay at home and watch The Lord of The Rings - the real thing.
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Warcraft is simultaneously a successful VG adaptation and a poor stab at fantasy-action.
J Rayner16 June 2016
Did I miss the post-showing brief?! Little exposition leaves non-WoW playing viewers in the lurch; characters, locations and the very crux on the film – the Fell – are given very little explanation of base-building. "Our world has been destroyed" feels cheap and lazy for the whole Horde-invading premise. This poor foundation made the remainder of the film totally uninteresting to me.

The CGI is classically Blizzard-esque and the Orc scenes and settings are the best in the film – character design is colourful and engaging – they all look different. However, the same cannot be said for the Humans – beards are dyed and have such well-groomed demarcation images of the Berlin wall are conjured. Their sets feel unlived-in, clinical and tacky in a Stargate SG-1 kind of way. The casting is equally uninspired – specifically in the plucky mage turned hero – an entirely average, intellectual-type who I imagine the aforementioned players are expected to relate to. A half-breed predictably attractive and buxom female Orc also seems to play to this demographic. The villain is lame and doesn't scare me or even his Human counterparts.

Don't get me wrong, fight scenes and visual effects are certainly high points in what was a drudge in mediocrity, playing far too heavily to its existing fan base.
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"Warcraft's success is contingent on audiences accepting Xena-style cheese in the era of Game of Thrones"
I'm a fan of Warcraft and all the games and a big fan of epic fantasy cinema. But this film misses the mark and seems like it was made without any idea of what actually makes a story engaging.

The opening scene is the only time I felt engaged in this movie, bringing shivers to my spine inspiring nostalgia of dueling in front of Orgrimmar. Yet the intertextuality of that experience is one that is exclusive to only those who actually played World of Warcraft. The entire movie must look like a completely incoherent mess to anyone who doesn't share that experience.

Every scene after that demolishes any hope I had of this being an enjoyable experience. It's obvious that a ton of hard work went into this film from many talented artists, technicians, and professionals, but the truth is no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig...

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The movie is "meh" out of 10
qqrigadesign9 June 2016
Casting is bad and acting is horrible! Come to think of it, why is Travis Fimmel always acting as a thrift store version of Johnny Depp, even in Vikings? Characters are flat and uninteresting. Everything is happening way too fast! Things that would otherwise need ages to happen, happen in just one or two sentences. Didn't bond with any of the characters, as the matter of fact, got annoyed by most of them. Clichés and tropes all around the movie, and i mean that in a bad way.

Been playing Warcraft since my early childhood, than started WoW and i really loved the entire universe and story, to some extent... And i got this movie?

Truth to be told, I would recommend watching it, but only for the visuals and overall spectacle, but the movie in general is not good at all... the real value of the movie will be visible once the hype river runs dry...

PS When i left the cinema, i felt a bit angry. Tomorrow morning i forgot what i watched...
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Another poor work inspired by popular game.
pranayjalvi12 June 2016
The epic battle at the center of "Warcraft" isn't the clash between humans and orcs. That's just what takes up roughly two hours of screen time. The true conflict comes from filmmakers trying to tell a story with soul and struggling against the inherent ridiculousness of the movie. Despite the noble effort of director Duncan Jones, who helmed the lower- budget sci-fi wonders "Moon" and "Source Code" , Warcraft just couldn't save itself from its unconventional and poor story tale.With its meticulously detailed realms built out primarily on soundstages and enhanced via CGI during extensive post-production, "Warcraft" aims for fresh and eye-popping and yet ends up shopworn and rather tacky. I am totally disappointed by Duncan Jones 'Warcraft'. I would give 1.5/5 for this heartless movie without any soul.
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Yet another terrible video game movie.
Brian25 June 2016
No character development or world building of any kind. No explanation for why anything is happening, and zero originality. Just terribly directed CGI battles and laughably generic fantasy tropes with one of the the most anti-climatic endings I have ever seen. Nothing gets resolved, and the entire movie is just a pointless waste of time. I find it both hilarious and sad that so many fanboys and little kids are rating this awful production so high. If it didn't have the 'Warcraft' label attached to it, no one would be rating this garbage anything above 2 stars, let alone even bother seeing it. This movie completely bombed in the US. Unfortunately, enough fanboys flocked to it's theater showings in China to warrant a sequel.
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