Director Duncan Jones, a self-professed Warcraft fan, has clearly put a lot of love and care into fleshing out a story, but it’s questionable whether it was ever really merited. There’s a terminal flimsiness, as if this virtually-derived world hasn’t quite assumed three dimensions.
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Imagine “Battlefield Earth” without the verve and you get this sludgy, tedious fantasy adventure, a fun-starved dud that’s not even unintentionally hilarious.
So good at making the most outlandish elements of his first two films seem completely credible, Jones can’t find a way to get this cartoony spectacle to soar. His heartfelt approach to the material only underlines the silliness.
The pristine setting never meshes with Jones’s efforts to give emotional reality to his army of characters, who cannot escape their tropes: leader, hero, warrior woman, mystic.
Screen International by John Hazelton
The film takes a long time to build dramatic momentum and gets interrupted by what seem like unnecessary plot points; some of them, perhaps, geared towards potential sequels.
Tasked with brokering a peace between event-sized thrills, gaming lore and high fantasy, Jones embraces Warcraft’s world with laudable commitment: but when it comes to charging it with life, sheer bulk gets the better of him.
The ambition is laudible, but it's to little end. At once empty and impenetrable, this brings to mind a mix of John Carter and Dungeons And Dragons, regrettably in both themes and level of enjoyment.
Warcraft may provide grand, thunderous spectacle as it transforms human actors into hulking Orcs, but when trying to perform the alchemy of transmuting genre archetypes into characters with soul, the magic fizzles out.
The Hollywood Reporter by Sheri Linden
The movie is character-driven every step of the way. That’s why, even if the world created by Jones and his talented design collaborators, both old-school physical and cutting-edge digital, isn’t seamlessly believable so much as staggeringly crafted, it casts a spell.
Time Out London by Tom Huddleston
The total absence of originality here is notable, but it needn’t have been a problem: with a tighter plot, a touch of humour and some peppier, less slab-fisted action scenes this might actually have worked – a kind of Guardians of the Galaxy meets Lord of the Rings.