Movies based on video games have never generally done well. There'll be a few fans of said video games here and there that maybe do like it, but mostly no one likes them and they end up bombing. Thus, there is actually apparently such a thing as the "video game movie curse." And in 2016, there were *two* movies that were supposed to break it--this and Assassin's Creed. The result of this particular one?
Well, it actually depends upon who you are. If you're a World of Warcraft fan to begin with... apparently you'll love it. Everyone else? Not so much.
The single greatest flaw about this entire movie is that it actually assumes you're a World of Warcraft fan and that you're more or less caught up on the lore. The guys who made this apparently actually thought literally everyone on planet Earth plays World of Warcraft. Either that, or they deliberately made this movie just for the fans... which is rather pointless in my opinion if you could just make another video game or "MMO" story line for it. In other words, that's a lot of wasted money.
This movie is quite frustrating for someone who hasn't played the games/online franchise. It starts off utterly incomprehensible. You do begin to pick up the basics of what you need to know over time, but there's still some things that you never do figure out. The plot goes something like this: this race of orcs (different from the Lord of the Rings orcs, mind you) are leaving their destroyed world, and this evil warlock of theirs uses evil green magic to build a portal to a human world *not* called Earth. Said evil warlock intends to purge the land of humans and use them as fuel for... more evil green magic stuff, apparently. One orc clan chief does not agree with his leader's plans. He wants to team up with the humans, who are just kind of caught in the middle of all the crazy stuff going down in their world. There's more plot beyond that, but do you want to know any backstory? Yes? Well, forget about it, because there is none.
It's quite unfortunate the path this movie takes, because there actually are traces of a good movie in here (perhaps due to director Duncan Jones?). There's a couple surprising plot twists, and there are some dynamics about the orc race that actually are kind of interesting, and there's a nice surprise non-orc antagonist thrown in as well. Despite the sometimes-iffy CGI, some of the action scenes are decent as well.
But there is also constant frustration as you try to keep up with all the lore and places and names and things and... yeah. Among various questions you'll likely have: what happened to the orcs' original world? How did this extra-evil orc find and start using this evil green magic? What is this evil green magic anyway? And how did the non-orc antagonist revealed later get infected with the evil green magic *before* the events of the movie start? And loads of other ones that I can't really say because either it would require more explaining on my part, or there would be spoilers.
I'm sure, of course, that there are reasonable explanations in the canon for everything I just asked and other non-WOW fans will ask when watching this movie. But if I have to go through years of games and online play just to understand it, then it's not worth it and I don't care. A video game movie like this should strive to make newcomers to the franchise understand everything without them having to go through all the lore. If they actually *want* to go through the lore afterwards, great, but the movie shouldn't depend upon that.
While this movie is not truly awful, it is quite frustrating. As I mentioned earlier, there are traces of a good movie in here and I could see how WoW fans would actually probably like this. But this movie not only assumes we're already gonna know a lot, it also assumes it will have a sequel, which means there isn't really an ending. I doubt I'll care much about a sequel if it does ever happen--unless they actually decide to explain the lore a bit more next time around.