Durotan (Tobey Kebbell), orc chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, and his heavily pregnant partner Draka (Anna Galvin) want to escape from their dying world to a better life on the human world of Azeroth. The orc clans come together to form the Horde, and the evil orc warlock Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) intends to uses evil and dangerous magic to open a gateway that will allow the invading orcs to pour through to Azeroth.
Meanwhile in the kingdom of Stormwind, King Liane (Dominic Cooper) orders Commander Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and Khadger (Ben Schnetzer) to summon the Guardian Medivh (Ben Foster). Medivh goes with Lothar and Khadger on a mission to capture an orc to interrogate.
Lothar captures a half-orc, half-human woman named Garona (Paula Patton), and he and the King gain Garona’s confidence. They learn that the orcs are capturing human prisoners, whom they intend to use as fuel to power the magic that can open the gateway to Azeroth.
Garona leads Lothar and Medivh to the orc encampment to investigate the gateway. While spying on the orc encampment, Garona is approached by Durotan who requests a meeting with King Liane. Durotan tells King Liane that the fate that has befallen the orc world will happen to Azeroth if they don’t stop Gul’dan.
War; alien invasion; the supernatural; death of a planet
Warcraft: The Beginning has extended sequences of intense and often brutal fantasy violence, some gun-related violence, and some images that show blood and gore. For example:
- In the movie’s opening scene a giant orc crushes and kills a knight with a blow of his war hammer.
- The human and orc armies charge towards each other, coming together in a clash of bodies and armour. Orc warriors raise their gigantic war hammers into the air and crash them down onto soldiers. In one scene a soldier is crushed, and blood and gore spatter in all directions. Soldiers and their horses are impaled on pikes and picked up and hurled through the air. Orcs are stabbed and slashed with swords, causing blood to spatter. An orc has much of his hand shot off, and he cries out in pain.
- One brutal scene shows an orc chained to the floor of a wagon. The orc break his chains and threatens a second prisoner. A soldier stabs the orc with a sword through the top of his shoulder and down into his chest. The scene includes the sound of flesh ripping.
- Garona tells how her mother was burned alive for giving birth to her.
- One scene shows images of the mass destruction of buildings and countryside as a result of war. There are apocalyptic images of burned and ruined land and castles on fire with towers and walls collapsing to the ground.
- In one of the movie’s more brutal scenes, a teenage warrior stabs an orc in the stomach and slashes another across the throat, before a third orc with a massive clawed hand impales the young warrior through his stomach. The orc lifts the young man up and throws him through the air as the young man’s father looks on in horror. The young man’s dead body lies on the ground with his eyes open and blood trickling out of his mouth.
- A female orc warrior viciously jumps on top of a male warrior, biting his neck, wrestling him to the ground, and not releasing her bite until he’s dead. When she gets up she has blood and gore covering her mouth, and there’s a large sword protruding from her stomach. She collapses and dies with blood dripping from her mouth and fangs.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Warcraft: The Beginning has many scenes and characters that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:
- The orcs are scary, giant, humanoid creatures. They have green or yellow skin, large pointy ears, low foreheads and boar-like tusks protruding from their lower jaws. They have gruff threatening voices and carry large medieval weapons. They wear animal bones and animal skeletons as adornments on their clothing, armour and helmets.
- One man has bright blue glowing eyes and hands.
- A heavily pregnant orc woman passes through a portal and emerges underwater where she clutches her stomach and goes into contractions. She emerges from the water and crawls onto land where she kneels on hands and knees and screams out. An orc warlock walks up behind the pregnant woman, reaches down and tells the screaming woman to push, then holds up the lifeless body of a baby. While holding the dead baby, the warlock reaches out with his free hand and sucks the life force from a deer standing nearby. A green light flows from the deer into the warlock’s hand, out of the warlock’s mouth and into the dead baby, which comes to life.
- One scene shows a dead man’s body lying on the ground with his eyes open and a trickle of blood running down the side of his mouth. A second man pulls open the dead man’s mouth and a black mist emerges.
- Several scenes have images of a griffin, a fantasy creature with the body of a lion and the head, beak and wings of an eagle.
- The orcs ride on giant wolves with snapping jaws. They attack soldiers and their horses.
- A human wizard utters a spell and causes white light to engulf orc warriors, who writhe on the ground and scream in pain as their bodies disintegrate.
- A wizard transforms into a demonic creature complete with four large horns protruding from its head.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes and images mentioned above.
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by many of the scenes and images mentioned above.
Warcraft: The Beginning has occasional low-level sexual references. For example, a half-orc, half-human woman tells a man that another man wishes to lie with her. She says that the man will be hurt if he lies with her. She then says that she doesn’t know how humans survive with such brittle bones and no muscles. When asked how she survived such things (with the orcs), she says that broken bones heal stronger and she has very strong bones.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Warcraft: The Beginning shows some use of substances. For example:
- An orc woman is given a drink to ‘warm her up’. She takes a tentative sip and then gulps the drink down.
- A man who has just witnessed the death of his son sits at a table holding a mug and then drinks the contents.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some nudity and sexual activity in Warcraft: The Beginning. For example:
- There are several images of the naked stomach of a pregnant female orc and her orc partner massaging her stomach.
- Women dress in revealing clothing.
- Characters kiss each other.
There is no product placement in Warcraft: The Beginning, but the movie is associated with the Warcraft video games.
Warcraft: The Beginning has some coarse language, mainly insults.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Warcraft: The Beginning is a fantasy action adventure movie based on a popular video game. It targets teenage and adult fans of the game.
The movie contains some positive messages about diverse groups working together for the common good. But it has conflicting messages too, because these same groups will forever be at war with each other. The movie also shows violence as necessary to keeping the peace.
This movie deserves its M rating. There is frequent brutal violence and many disturbing scenes and characters. We don’t recommend it for viewers under 15 years.