My overall experience with 'Warcraft' is minimal at best. I never did delve into the whole 'WoW' thing, and the only chapter I really ever played was 'Warcraft 2' back in the late 90s... with all the cheat codes because I was ridiculously impatient with strategy games. "Every little thing she does", "Make it so" and "Glittering prizes" were my personal favourites (alternatively, "all upgrades and infinite mana", "speed up", and "10,000 gold, 5000 lumber, 5000 oil"). Yeah, much like my experience with the 'GTA' game series, it was something I didn't so much "play" as mess around with for fun.
However, getting to the review, this was a project announced ten years before its release as a collaboration between Legendary Pictures and a then controversy-free Blizzard Entertainment. By the time of its eventual release, however, some fans weren't exactly chomping at the bit anymore, and the film underperformed at the domestic box office, receiving the unsurprising bad reviews one pretty much expects at this point from a video game-based film. It did, however, do very well worldwide, which goes to show that 'Warcraft' has some real international reach. In fact, it currently stands as the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time, despite its American flop of a release.
Story-wise, the main focus has a lot to do with the Orcs ('Warcraft' orcs, not 'Lord of the Rings' orcs), as we're introduced to Durotan (Toby Kebbell) and his pregnant mate, Draka (Anna Galvin). The couple are facing a blight on their kind, caused by a force known as fel magic - a dark magic used by the orc warlock, Gul'dan (Daniel Wu). Using this magic drains the lifeforce from Gul'dan's prisoners, and the orcs, forming the Horde, use it to form a portal to the human world of Azeroth to find more victims. Protecting the land of Azeroth are King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper), brave fighter, Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and wizard, Medivh (Ben Foster).
Before long, with his growing family, Durotan shows growing concern about the future of his homeworld of Draenor. He eventually concludes that the only way to stop things from getting worse is to form an alliance with the humans.That's basically the short version, and knowing so little about 'Warcraft' other than what cheat codes come in handy for 'Warcraft 2', it's hard for me to conclude whether or not there's any accuracy to any of the storylines within any of the games. But from my perspective, I honestly didn't mind this one, with the exception that if feel it does move a bit slowly, when the story is simple enough.
I think for me, what it comes down to is all around design. They didn't try to make things "dark", or try too hard to make it look like something normally medieval. When you look at the orcs here, they definitely have the right look, but more to the point, even the human armour is... I don't want to use the word "cartoony", but let's just say a suitable match of accuracy, at least, if memory serves correctly. I also like that this is something where we see the orcs as both bad and good, and the humans as, well, human. Things are pretty neutral here, and that's always been something I've enjoyed in film. So to conclude, I like it fine. It's perfectly passable. Nothing I'd rush back to, but I'd be happy to see what various fans (many of them personal friends) think of it.