With paper thin characters and cliche riddled dialogue, Warcraft: The Beginning is a disappointing videogame adaption. Despite its breathtaking visuals and some nice nods to the source material, its ultimately a fantasy film that never really sets itself apart or feels like anything but a passable video game adapated movie.
The story follows two groups, the humans and the orcs in a cleverly structured story that switches between the two clans. The orcs flee their dying world and end up in Azeroth, a world the humans occupy and are none too happy to see orcs try and inhabit. What follows is your standard fantasy tropes that see heroes from both sides try to alleviate the growing tensions and ultimately failing as the two collide in a spectacular war.
The characters really feel wasted here and despite it feeling like a video game adaption, with clever references to the game dotted throughout, it feels so sluggish and lethargic for long stretches of the film. No one character really stands out and in an effort to try and distinguish that both sides have heroes and enemies, it ultimately leaves the film struggling over its own narrative voice. There’s potential here no doubt, and Warcraft is such a big franchise that its sure to bring people in to check out the spectacle.
Speaking of which, the action here is excellent. If there’s one thing the film does do right its the action. The massive battles depicted with the sweeping battleground and thousands of orcs and humans battling it out is both exhilarating and enjoyable to watch. This feels like a big fantasy story at times and its during these moments the film really shines. Its just too bad that for large patches of the film, its bogged down by cliche riddled dialogue and simply bland character arcs.
Warcraft is really a film of what ifs. Going into this, there was a lot of hype and expectation and Warcraft fails to deliver on almost every front. Generic storytelling, lazy writing and poor dialogue makes this a forgettable fantasy story but for the frnahcise its based on but the action is really good. The sweeping battlegrounds and thousands of orcs and humans battling is a great spectacle, but its just a shame that for large parts of the film it never feels like anything but a poor fantasy story.
Verdict - 3/10