Even fans of the online role-playing game on which the film is based will likely find this movie as exciting as a tiddlywinks tournament.
This movie not only doesn’t have a brain, it lacks a soul. It’s filmmaking by formula at its most mundane. It simply sticks a bunch of CGI-generated beasts on CGI-generated sets, drops in a few humans who get to “act” on green screens and has them pound each other for two hours in uninspired IMAX 3-D. The film doesn’t get an “F” because some 10-year-olds and people with 10 IQs might enjoy watching the mayhem, and some of the digital effects do look decent. And that’s about it.
The film suffers from an excess of nearly everything. Too many characters – I challenge anyone to name all the major players in this fiasco even after just seeing it – too many locations – good luck naming them, too – and too many subplots.
What you end up with is a confusing mess where even distinguishing who’s who becomes a challenge. Thus, you never become invested in any of the characters so you don’t really care what happens to them. When characters die, you applaud because they no longer have to embarrass themselves any further. It’s the ultimate mercy killing. The audience, however, has no such luck, forced to watch the tedium extend into mental torture, unless they’re wise enough to walk out or even wiser to not buy a ticket in the first place.
After ponderous music plays, voice-over narration sets the stage where we learn that Draenor, the land of the orcs, is dying. Why? Global warming, of course. Actually, the cause is more nefarious. Anyway, to escape, an orc warlock, Gul’dan (voice of Daniel Wu) uses the power of the Fel to create a portal through which the orcs travel and arrive in the human-inhabited land of Azeroth. Gul’dan intends to take over the place in brutal fashion so it’s up to the Azerothians, led by their king, Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper), and his military commander Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), to stop him. They rely for help on the realm’s guardian, Medivh (Ben Foster). What passes for comedy is provided by Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer), a wizard in training. What passes for romance comes from Garona (Paula Patton) a half-human, half-orc, who clearly doesn’t loathe Lothar. However, negotiating a kiss is tricky when you have fangs that look like they came from a joke store.
At least not all the orcs are evil, though they all are ugly. Imagine giant warthogs on steroids. For the film, actors playing orcs do that performance capture thing. We know Durotan (voice of Toby Kebbell) is a good orc because he’s a loving husband with a loving wife Draka (voice of Anna Galvin), who’s very pregnant. Will Durotan rise up against Gul’dan? Who cares? And what will happen to Callan (Burkely Duffield), Lothar’s son, who wants to become a warrior like his dad? Who cares?
The film steals from so many other movies that playing the rip-off game might keep you entertained in between the humdrum battle scenes. “The Lord of the Rings,” “Avatar,” “Star Wars,” even “The Ten Commandments” get sampled. Care to watch a baby put in a basket and sent down a river? Holy Moses!
The Fel, meanwhile, can be likened to the ring in “The Lord of the Rings” with its corrupting powers or the Force from “Star Wars” with its dark side. The originality astounds. And the family of the late Norman Fell should sue for defamation of character.
That this film is so bad is surprising considering its director Duncan Jones previously helmed “Source Code,” a film as smart as “Warcraft” is dumb. Granted, it’s not easy to turn a game into a movie. The script, written by Jones and Charles Leavitt, does little to flesh out the characters. Why do people do what they do? Do-be-do-be-do. Don't ask, just punch. The film does contain moments of unintentional hilarity. Watch out for that clay monster! I’d like to see him duke it out with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters.”
The acting here might earn a few Razzies, too. The entire cast acts as if it overdosed on Ambien. And is that Glenn Close in an uncredited cameo pontificating about light and darkness for 30 seconds? Cash the check quickly, Glenn.
What’s particularly frightening about “Warcraft” is that it sets up a sequel. Oh, the humanity. Please, please, I implore everyone not to see this movie so as to spare the world from another “Warcraft.” Humanitarian prizes have been awarded for less.

“Warcraft” is 123 minutes long and rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence. The film is directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones and Charles Leavitt. It stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper. 
Grade: D-