Warcraft paints a fully realized world that fans would enjoy but its a lifeless sword-and-sorcery adventure that’s more concerned in setting up a franchise.

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. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Comic books are already getting adapted to the big screen so its only a matter of time before video games get their turn.

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. Effort was made to ensure that the visuals stayed true to the game. I played a few editions of Warcraft before and was satisfied with the world building.

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 their 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 into unnecessary plot points in a movie that’s already predictable. 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. With no characters to invest in, 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 then there’s something here for you. But that’s pretty much the only thing that the movie can offer. Otherwise, it’s no different than one of the transformer movies as a loud CGI-plastered fodder to a potential money-making franchise.

My Rating: 3/10