The big problem with Warcraft: The Beginning is that it’s for the fans: rather than showing us amazing things, it seems that everyone agreed the real audience for this film is already familiar with everything here so any attempt to build up mystery or awe would just be a waste of time.
When Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) is injured in a motorcycle accident and left a quadriplegic, he retreats from his life as an extreme sports-loving financier to live with his castle-owning parents in their mansion. Meanwhile, the extremely quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) has just lost her job at the local café and is desperate for work to help support her family.
Director James Wan returns from helming the Fast & Furious franchise to deliver the latest instalment in his series of films about paranormal investigators (the Insidious films were basically the same thing, only without the “based on a true story” hook).
Casting James Franco and Robert Pattinson in a movie set in pre-World War One Arabia is a pretty gutsy move. Unfortunately for director Werner Hertzog, it doesn’t pay off. Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence (“of Arabia”) works largely because his appearances are scattered through this film; a look at the real-life exploits of Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) as she explored the desert and met with many of its tribes.
High-energy cable TV finance expert Lee Gates (George Clooney) is the host of fairly crass cable TV show ‘Money Monster’, so when he’s taken hostage during a live broadcast at first his viewers think it’s part of the act. Then when the bullets start flying, only his producer Patty (Julia Roberts) keeps a level head.
When problem child Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) – his crimes include kicking stuff, burning stuff and loitering – is relocated to a New Zealand bush farm by somewhat intense social worker Paula (Rachel House), he’s taken under the wing of Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and her silently menacing husband Hec (Sam Neill).
The trouble with reviewing a sequel when the original was a): awful, but b): successful, is that there’s not much of a point in complaining about the same stuff all over again. Clearly whatever was wrong with the original wasn’t enough to keep audiences away, so in a sense it clearly wasn’t “wrong” in the first place. On the other hand, Alice Through the Looking Glass… is still pretty much terrible.